If you belong to a family that has a history of cancer, you may feel like you don’t have much hope of getting through this life without it. 

While family history does come into play in your risk of cancer, some precautions can diminish your risks and, at the very least, catch cancer as early as possible.

These steps can help to give you a better chance at winning the fight against cancer.

1. Get Tested

The first step that you should take if cancer runs in your family is to get an appointment with your doctor and ask for a checkup with a focus on checking for signs of cancer.

Next, you should ask for some genetic testing to see if your genes contain the mutations that increase your risk of getting cancer. This test is a simple collection of blood and saliva.

If both of these tests come back negative, you can breathe a sigh of relief. But still, take the normal precautions that help to reduce your chances of getting cancer. We’ll be talking about some of these later on in this article. 

If the tests show that you have early signs, follow your doctor’s orders. And remember, just because one test comes out clean doesn’t mean you are in the clear. 

Get frequent testing done. The earlier you catch cancer, the better.

2. Don’t Smoke

If you want to have your best chances against cancer, you can’t give it any ammunition. Smoking fills your body with carcinogens that feed cancerous cells. 

If you smoke, it’s time to quit. If you don’t, there’s no need to start. This includes traditional tobacco cigarettes, vaping, or any other type of smoking.

3. Exercise Regularly

Being active helps to reduce your chances of getting cancer in several ways. First, it helps you keep a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to an increased chance of some cancers.

Second, it strengthens your immune system so that your body can combat cancerous cells victoriously.

Third, it can reduce some hormones and insulin that are linked to cancer.

And lastly, a new study shows that regular exercise is linked to a reduced risk of some types of cancer.

If you are worried about your family’s history of cancer, having a regular workout schedule can help your chances. 

4. Eat Clean

Unfortunately, the Western diet is full of foods that contain additives, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients. 

To give your body the best chances against cancer, you need to fuel it with healthy and clean food, not food that is full of foreign substances.

When grocery shopping, stay away from most boxed or bagged foods. Stick with food that you can recognize as something that grows from the ground or eats what grows from the ground.

Choose organic produce and grass-fed, free-range, and antibiotic-free meats whenever possible. 

Stay away from overly processed foods and do your best to eat most of your meals at home. Drink lots of water and steer clear of sodas. 

Limit your alcohol intake as much as you can and when you do want to unwind, reach for a glass of red wine. It contains antioxidants that fight cancer causing free radicals. 

5. Protect Yourself Financially

In the event that you do have to be hospitalized for cancer, are you protected financially?

You may have good health insurance, but that won’t cover your bills and living expenses. You won’t be able to work when you get sick, so you won’t have your regular income. How will you make ends meet?

Disability insurance can protect you and your loved ones from losing everything that you have built with your hard-earned money while you recover in the hospital. 

Many of these policies will cover up to 80% of your normal salary. There are some other riders that you can add to make your disability insurance policy protect you even further.

Learn about the best disability insurance companies here


Conclusion

There you have it. You can implement a simple five-step plan if you fear the repercussions of your family’s history with cancer.

There is no need to sit and fear when you can take preventative measures that will give you a better chance of living cancer-free.