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Lifestyle Changes That May Prevent Cancer

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Consider vaccinations

If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV shot to protect against the virus that can cause cervical cancer. Three shots are given over 6 months. The series of shots is recommended for girls age 11 or 12 and can be given to females ages 9 to 26.

Males age 9 through 26 may also get the HPV shot (Gardasil) which may prevent anal cancer.

Avoid toxins and other poisons at work and at home

Living or working in unhealthy places can make you sick. Stay away from certain chemicals and other things in the environment that can increase your chances of getting cancer.

  • Asbestos, an insulating material found in some older buildings, can cause tumors, lung cancer, and other diseases.
  • Unsafe drinking water from a rural well polluted with pesticides or other poisons from a nearby industrial plant could cause allergies, cancer, or other problems.
  • Take care when using cleaning products, paints, solvents, and pesticides. Try not to use them inside the house. If you must use them inside, use a fan to blow strong odors and fumes out of your home. Be aware that paint can release trace gases for months after you apply it. Try to use paint without volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Avoid being exposed to benzene, which can cause cancer. Benzene is found in tobacco smoke, stored fuels, paint supplies, and vehicle exhaust inside garages.
  • Radon is a radioactive gas that causes cancer. Radon is found in rock, soil, water, some building materials, and natural gas. Studies show that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has unsafe levels of radon.1 The U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that all homes be tested for radon levels. For more information, see the topic Radon.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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