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lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

Cancer Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk

As we exit October and head into November, we officially transition from Breast Cancer Awareness to Pancreatic and Lung Cancer Awareness.  In the realm of cancer, we often spend a significant amount of time discussing screening, but prevention remains a topic that is often overlooked. It’s high time we shift our focus towards the power of prevention. Cancer, a formidable adversary, claims millions of lives each year. While genetics play a role, research suggests that our lifestyle choices can significantly influence cancer prevention. By incorporating natural and healthful practices into our daily lives, we can reduce the risk of cancer and promote overall well-being. In this blog, we will explore several key factors for natural cancer prevention, including maintaining a healthy diet, sufficient fiber intake, maintaining regular bowel movements, staying hydrated, engaging in physical activity, and reducing inflammation in the body.

  1. Healthy Diet

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in cancer prevention. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, which help combat free radicals that can damage DNA and potentially lead to cancer. Incorporate a rainbow of colors in your diet, as each color often represents different phytochemicals that have protective properties. Specifically, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, and arugula contain glucosinolates which have also been shown to have anti-cancer and antiviral effects. Additionally, include lean protein sources, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet to maintain overall health and reduce cancer risk.

  1. Fiber Intake

Consuming fiber-rich foods can help reduce your risk of various cancers, particularly colorectal cancer. Fiber is a key component in digestion, by helping to maintain a healthy gut microbiome (good bacteria and fungi), and is known to reduce inflammation. Whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. Eating a diet high in fiber can help to optimize your digestive system and lower your cancer risk. Women’s recommended daily fiber intake is at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day.

  1. Regular Bowel Movements

I bet you didn’t realize regular bowel movements are an essential aspect of cancer prevention. Constipation can lead to a buildup of harmful toxins and waste in the colon, potentially increasing the risk of colorectal and other cancers. To support regular bowel movements and promote a healthy colon, consume a diet high in fiber and maintain adequate hydration.

  1. Hydration

Proper hydration is often overlooked but is crucial in cancer prevention. Staying adequately hydrated helps flush toxins from the body and supports all bodily functions. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain overall health and assist in cancer prevention. Drinking regularly throughout the day will aid in proper hydration. A good rule of thumb for women is to drink about 11.5 cups of fluid per day.

  1. Exercise

Not only does regular physical activity offer numerous health benefits, it aids cancer prevention as well. Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week to reduce your cancer risk.

  1. Reducing Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a significant contributing factor in cancer. To mitigate and reduce inflammation, focus on avoiding or minimizing processed and sugary foods. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, nuts, and leafy greens into your diet. Additionally, manage stress through techniques like meditation and mindfulness, as chronic stress can contribute to inflammation.


Preventing cancer naturally is a proactive approach that can significantly reduce your risk of this devastating disease. By maintaining a healthy diet, ensuring sufficient fiber intake, regular bowel movements, staying hydrated, engaging in physical activity, and reducing inflammation in your body, you can take charge of your health and well-being. These lifestyle choices not only help prevent cancer, but also promote overall health and vitality. Remember, small changes in your daily routine can lead to significant long-term benefits. So start incorporating these practices into your life today.

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