Everyday Ways To Outsmart The Big C

We all want to know how we can cut our risk of cancer. Avoid this! Do that! Eat this before noon every other Tuesday!

Turns out, cancer prevention doesn’t have to be that complicated or confusing.

“Healthy choices will reduce the risk of cancer, as does getting regular screenings,” says Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist and the American Cancer Society’s director of surveillance information.

You can start by quitting smoking, of course, and always wearing sunscreen. But that’s just the beginning. We highlight three ways to weave even more disease prevention into your everyday life.

1.  Rethink Your Wardrobe
The clothes you wear when you’re spending time outside are just as important as the sunscreen you slather on. Wearing bright or dark colors, like red or black, can provide protection from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays. So can clothing made from denim, wool, polyester and rayon. What should you avoid? Items made of lace or bleached cotton, and those that are white or pastel in color—save these wardrobe pieces for inside-only days.

2.  Take Up Tennis
OK, so it doesn’t have to be tennis. It can be jogging or golfing. The fact remains that it’s important to exercise.

“Leading a physically active lifestyle can reduce the risk of cancer directly,” Siegel says. “Colorectal cancer, for example, is associated with a lack of activity.”
There’s also evidence that exercise reduces your chances of breast, lung and prostate cancers, too.

Hit the court (or the trail or the gym) for 30 minutes, five times a week.

3.  Marinate Your Meat
When you’re grilling dinner, the last thing you want to do is burn or char the meat. Doing so can cause chemicals to form that increase cancer risk. To reduce the likelihood of a way-too-well-done entrĂ©e, marinate it for at least 30 minutes before grilling (or broiling or pan frying—any cooking method that uses high heat).

Go the extra mile by limiting red and processed meats in your diet, in general. Look for lean cuts, chicken and fish. 

How GMC Can Help

Another way to outsmart the big C is to have the recommended screenings for your age group. If you’re age 50 or older, one of the easiest cancers to outsmart is colorectal cancer. 

And your first step is to get screened.

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month (March), GMC is offering free colorectal cancer screening kits. All you have to do to receive this free kit is to call 678-312-5000 and select option one.


The Cancer Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer and offers the area’s top oncologists, radiologists and cancer treatment experts, including patient navigators and services at our Cancer Support Center. Learn more at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/cancer.

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