As the shortest month of the year draws to a close, it’s important to remember that it takes longer than 28 days to prevent the impact of cancer on your life and the lives of your loved ones.  There are several life habits you can practice to improve your health and reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research [AICR], there are three main guidelines for cancer prevention:

  1. Choose mostly plant foods and limit your red meat and processed meat intake
  2. Be physically active every day for at least 30 minutes or more (in any way that is suitable for you!)
  3. Do your best to maintain a healthy weight throughout your life

These steps can help you stay fit and healthy. However, we have all heard the phrase “it’s in my genes” and sometimes cancer risk is no different. Even the healthiest person following these guidelines could be at risk for a genetically inherited gene mutation that increases their risk of cancer. This may seem scary or intimidating to think about, but with the right tools and knowledge you can easily evaluate your own such genetic risk:

  • BE INFORMED! – The first step in evaluating your risk of a hereditary cancer is to learn your family’s health history. Make sure to look at both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family and ask about any relatives who may have had a cancer-related illness or death.

  • TAKE THE QUIZ! – After you have learned about your family’s health history, all you need to do is take a quick online quiz! Yes, it’s that easy. Using your personal and family history of cancer, the Hereditary Cancer Quiz can evaluate your risk for some of the known hereditary cancers. You can print your results and share them with your healthcare professional if you are presented with a high risk result. The quiz is free and is available HERE!

These guidelines and tools are an invaluable way for you to stay healthy and raise awareness with your family and friends about the importance of cancer prevention.Remember, 28 days out of the year isn’t enough–cancer prevention is a 365 day-per-year job!

Interactive Associate Product Manager