Cancer Prevention Month: Avoiding the Big C

February is Cancer Awareness Month, and in this week’s PHMP Knowledgebase Article, we’re talking about the numerous proactive, preventative measures you can take to avoid cancer.

Preventable Causes of Cancer


According to the American Association of Cancer Research, smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer. Each year, 480,000 lives are lost due to smoking—and that’s not limited to just lung cancer. 1 2

Other cancers associated with smoking include:

Image courtesy AACR
  • Kidney
  • Ureter (the duct that transports urine from kidney to bladder)
  • Bladder
  • Ovary
  • Cervix
  • Nasal cavity
  • Nasopharynx (upper part of throat, behind the nose)
  • Oral cavity (mouth, gums, etc.)
  • Oropharynx (middle of throat, behind the mouth)
  • Hypopharynx (bottom of throat)
  • Larynx (the voice box)
  • Esophagus (duct that carries food from mouth to stomach)
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Pancreas (vital to converting food into fuel)
  • Colon
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (bone marrow cancer) 3

Quitting Smoking

The PHMP has a bunch of resources about quitting smoking. Even if you don’t smoke, but know someone who does, and want to encourage them to quit, read up and share these articles!

Excess body weight

Your diet and exercise routines (or lack thereof) play large roles in your risk for cancer.

According to studies, roughly 20 percent of new cancer cases, and 16 percent of all cancer deaths are related to excess weight, bad diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption. 4

Due to the nature of food—and the fact that most people don’t eat one meal of the same exact ingredients 3x day 7 days a week—diet is difficult to precisely pin to cancer. 5

However, one thing’s for certain: there are types of foods that simply aren’t healthy no matter what, and have clearer ties to the risk of getting cancer.

  • Fast foods: over-processed junk food, high in fat, starch, sugars, and preservatives, all contribute to a unhealthy diet and weight gain—both of which vastly increase your risk of cancer.
  • Sugary drinks: like fast foods, sodas and their brethren are loaded with nasty chemicals that aren’t doin’ you any good, no matter how you spin it.
  • Red and processed meats: these foods are tied to the increased risk of colorectal cancers.
  • Alcohol: limit your intake of booze, because alcohol is tied to six different types of cancer: colorectal, female breast cancer, head and neck cancers, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer.

You vs. Junk Food

Junk food is cheap and tastes awesome (for the most part) and is absolutely horrible for you. Luckily, we have some resources to help you give junk food the boot once and for all.

Physical inactivity

If your body is healthy and fit, it is infinitesimally more capable of fighting against disease and illness.

Physical fitness results in drastically reduced cancer risks as well. 6

Cancer type
Percentage of risk reduction
Bladder cancer 15%
Breast cancer 12 to 21%
Colon cancer 19%
Endometrial cancer 20%
Esophageal cancer 21%
Kidney cancer 12%
Stomach cancer 19%

Workout Routines

Don’t wait any longer: build yourself an exercise routine that works for you and your schedule. Here are some links to help you get started.

Wrappin’ Up

We hope these links and bite-sized data-points gave you a better understanding of how many types of cancer are avoidable and, in some cases, how simple it may be to avoid them.

There will be more content related to National Cancer Awareness Month coming soon—stay tuned!

  • Glenn Raines
    Posted at 13:19h, 14 February

    Great information

  • Carol Burnett
    Posted at 12:07h, 14 February

    Thank you for all this information it’s very important to know about all the health risks and what you can do to prevent some situation thank you

  • Jenna Vrable
    Posted at 16:18h, 11 February

    Thank you

  • Grace+Ramos
    Posted at 14:44h, 11 February


  • Monica+Doyle
    Posted at 03:44h, 11 February

    Informative thank you!!!

  • Devan Wayne Robinson
    Posted at 03:28h, 11 February

    Thanks didn’t know that

  • Vida Saatsaz
    Posted at 00:28h, 11 February

    Thank you.

  • Kim Dunn
    Posted at 23:43h, 10 February

    Good Topic to read up on

  • Allyson Fahy
    Posted at 20:04h, 10 February

    Enjoyed learning about this

    Posted at 11:52h, 10 February

    Great read!

  • Cora Escarcha
    Posted at 21:40h, 09 February

    Thank you

  • Sonia Brown
    Posted at 13:18h, 09 February

    Thank you so much for this information

  • Rathjen Dennis
    Posted at 13:08h, 09 February


  • Alicia Kaseta
    Posted at 11:25h, 09 February

    Thank you

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