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World Cancer Day – A Focus on Prevention and Risk Reduction

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  • Written By: Flagler Health+ Oncology Navigation Program
World Cancer Day – A Focus on Prevention and Risk Reduction

Throughout the pandemic, millions of people have put off their regular cancer screening appointments for a variety of reasons. Today, on World Cancer Day, it is a good time to be reminded that at least one third of cancers are preventable. Healthy life choices and prevention tools can help reduce your risk of developing cancer in the first place. The addition of regular, timely screenings can identify cancer early, vastly improving outcomes.

With so many types of cancer being preventable, there are things you can do to be proactive and help protect yourself. Things such as following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

No single action helps prevent cancer more than stopping smoking or the use of other tobacco products. Tobacco has been found to cause approximately 15 different types of cancers and causes 8 million deaths every year, 25% of all cancer deaths. Taking the step to quit can have a tremendous effect on improving your health and reducing your risk of getting cancer.

Another preventative measure is limiting the amount of alcohol you consume. Consumption of alcohol has been shown to increase cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bowel and breast.

Living in Florida, we all face exposure to the sun. Using sunscreen regularly and staying out of the sun for long periods can help prevent skin cancers, as does avoiding tanning beds and solariums.

Cancer prevention is about more than just avoiding things like tobacco and alcohol. There are things that you can do to help aid in the prevention of cancers. One is exercise. Regular exercise helps you reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

Another factor is keeping up with your vaccinations. Studies show that chronic infections commonly caused by viruses and are estimated to cause approximately 16% of all cancers around the world. Contact your health care provider about scheduling any necessary vaccinations. If you do not have a health care provider, please call Flagler Hospital Cancer Institute at 904.819.4793 or find a provider on

Individually, we can all take a big step in taking responsibility for our health by trying to live a healthier lifestyle and taking some preventative steps.

For more information about World Cancer Day, please click here.