New Year’s Resolutions to Fight Cancer

New Year Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions to Fight Cancer

Cancer is a battle for both those who have it and those who hope to prevent it. This fight (especially for those at higher risk of developing cancer) is ever ongoing–a day-to-day struggle that sadly doesn’t end at midnight on December 31st.

Typically, New Year’s resolutions are easier to make than they are to keep. But by dedicating yourself to several small changes throughout the next year, you can give yourself a fighting chance against cancer without too many dramatic changes.

With this in mind at the dawn of the new year, we take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to a healthier, happier lifestyle and to a hopefully cancer-free future.

Dietary Changes

Of all the frequently made New Year’s resolutions, the effort to lose weight is perhaps the most common. While it might be one of the hardest goals to manifest, it may also be somewhat misguided.

Keeping your weight down can drastically improve your overall health. But proper nutrition isn’t solely dictated or reflected by the numbers on a scale. By first improving our choices in the kitchen, we establish a baseline of success from which true weight loss (or more accurately: true health) can be achieved.

Links have been made between certain foods and a higher cancer risk. Items such as processed meats, red meats, fast foods, and sugary sodas can contribute to an increased risk.

Alternatively, certain fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and whole grains have been shown to reduce that risk, as have certain teas, beans, spices, and cooking methods. Coincidentally, eating to improve your chances against cancer can bring you to a healthy baseline weight and may also help with your weight loss goals.

While the transition may be difficult at first, it’s important to take small steps over time rather than one melodramatic step all at once. Thinking in affirmative terms can help. Emphasize what you will “endeavor” to do as opposed to what you will “refrain” from doing. Consider changing the wording of your resolution from “I won’t eat certain foods,” to, “I will learn to enjoy certain foods.”

Lifestyle Changes

Beyond a resolution to lose weight in the new year, two other common, health-related resolutions come to mind–1) A resolution to quit smoking, and 2) A resolution to limit our consumption of alcohol.

Unsurprisingly, both resolutions can help us lower our risk of cancer.

Smoking is most commonly linked to lung cancer, but it also drastically increases your risks of mouth, throat, voicebox, esophageal, stomach, kidney, pancreatic, liver, bladder, cervix, colon, and rectal cancers (to name a few).

Beyond cancer (which is frightening enough), smoking may also contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, and diabetes (again, to name only a few).

Smoking cessation is goal #1 for improving your overall health and reducing your risk for numerous cancers. Speak with your physician about quitting or explore alternatives until you find a fitting solution.

Excessive alcohol consumption, meanwhile, has been linked to many of the same cancers as tobacco use. Combining them (as we often do) can create a personal health crisis that needs to be addressed.

Regular Screenings

The significance of regular cancer screenings cannot be overstated.

By discussing your family history, general health, and lifestyle choices with your physician you can chart an annual or semi-annual course of regular cancer screenings.

Catching some cancers early can be vital to successful treatment. Incidentally, frequent testing can offer “peace of mind” and go a long way toward our mental and physical health, to say nothing of our dedication to our chosen resolutions!

With a healthy attitude, some patience, and optimism for your wellness goals, you can give yourself the best chance against cancer in 2021!

Alabama Cancer Care is here for you in 2021!

The best kind of cancer is the cancer we never have. Dietary, lifestyle, and screening changes can all make a truly impressive difference in our lives, from limiting our cancer risks to improving our overall experience and enjoyment. For more information about cancer prevention, or to schedule a screening today, contact us at one of our locations.