24 Ways Top Doctors Prevent Cancer

Pick Power Fruits

"I make smoothies with pomegranates and blueberries because my research shows that both these fruits contain compounds that can slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells."—Shuian Chen, Ph.D., director, Tumor Cell Biology Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope.

Keep the Scale Steady

"More than 90,000 cancer deaths a year occur due to being overweight. Carrying as little as 10 extra pounds may increase your production of sex hormones like estrogen, raising your risk for breast and uterine cancers. I step on the scale every few days. If the number creeps up, I try to exercise a little more or eat a little less to get back on track."—Ann Kulze, M.D., director, Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Handle Clothes with Care

"Many dry cleaners use cancer-causing solvents, like perchloroethylene, so I try to avoid them. To reduce your exposure, look for a cleaner that uses wet-cleaning or CO2 (compressed carbon dioxide) methods. Or take the plastic covering off your clothes as soon as you get home so the toxic vapors won't be trapped near the fabric."—Thom E. Lobe, M.D., medical director, Beneveda Medical Group.

Get Radon on Your Radar

"Radon—an odorless gas, found in soil, that can seep into the basements of homes—is the second- leading cause of lung cancer. After buying a radon detection kit at the hardware store, I learned my reading was in the normal range. If yours is high, you can install a radon remediation system, which costs $1,000 to $2,000."—Doug Arenberg, M.D., associate professor of medicine, University of Michigan.

Go Greek

"My diet is mostly Mediterranean—plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. People who eat this way, exercise regularly, and don't smoke cut their odds of getting cancer by at least 60 percent."—Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., director, MD Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine Program.

Watch Your Mouth

"Oral cancers are on the rise among people ages 20 to 40, which we believe is because of HPV spread through oral sex. I always look for unusual changes in my patient's mouth, like sores or blisters on the cheeks, tongue, or lips. It usually takes less than two minutes. If your dentist doesn't already do this, ask her to start."—Gigi Meinecke, D.M.D., a dentist in Potomac, Maryland.

Dive Into the Gene Pool

"My mother had colon cancer at 62, so I started getting colonoscopies in my late 40s, a few years earlier than the recommended age. Most cancers are not genetic, but having a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) or several second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents) with cancer can place you at a higher- than-average risk for these diseases."—Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Yale School of Medici.

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