10 Surprising Things That May Increase Your Cancer Risk

Skimp on sunscreen

The fact that you’re wearing sunscreen is, of course, a good thing. Sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and, for the vain in us, premature aging. Even buy the right kind: broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, waterproof. But if you don’t spread enough, you’re stripping your skin of sun protection. Most adults need at least an ounce of sunscreen to cover exposed areas (including the tips of your ears and the backs of your hands, neck, and feet if you wear flip-flops—that’s a full glass, or about how much you can hold in the palm of your hand. Studies show that most of us spray and rub only a quarter or, at most, half that amount. To get the full benefit, apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. so the ingredients can fully bind to your skin, and reapply the same 1-ounce amount every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. Oh, and when it’s cloudy, you still need sunscreen: That’s because up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation still reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day.

you just turned 65

A quarter of new cancer cases are diagnosed in people ages 65 to 74, according to the National Cancer Institute. In other news, having longer legs is associated with a 42 percent increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to a new preliminary study. File both in the «out of my hands» category of things that cause cancer, and then focus on risk factors you can control, like what you choose to eat. While no single food or nutrient can protect against cancer, there is strong evidence showing that a diet filled with a variety of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans helps reduce the risk of many types of cancer.

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