August 4, 2020

UW Health shares cancer prevention tips for COVID-19 era

Madison, Wis. — Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19. Health officials want to remind the community of key things everyone can do to prevent cancer during the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began and people began to stay home more, experts have seen increased trends of unhealthy behaviors including more drinking and less exercise. These behaviors can lead to several chronic health conditions as well as increase your risk of cancer.

As we continue to spend large periods of time alone or at home to reduce COVID-19 transmission, it is important to maintain healthy habits that can reduce our risk of cancer.

Top tips include:

  • Do not use tobacco. Tobacco use of any kind is proven to increase your risk of mouth, throat, bladder and lung cancer.

  • Exercise regularly. Try to get at least two hours of exercise per week, ideally 30 minutes per day.

  • Eat healthy foods. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet as well as whole grains and legumes. Limit red meat, avoid processed meats and eat plenty of lean meats like chicken and salmon.

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccinations for Hepatitis B and HPV can reduce your risk for several cancers including liver, cervical and head and neck cancers.

  • Limit alcohol. If you do drink, limit to one serving a day.

  • Wear sunscreen. UV radiation from sun exposure causes skin cancer.

It is also important to get screened. If you are due for a mammogram, pelvic examination or colorectal cancer screening, arrange it today. Message or call your primary care clinic to find out if you are eligible for lung cancer screening. University of Wisconsin Hospitals were recently rated the best in the state for cancer care according to U.S. News & World Report and our remarkable providers are ready to assist with your cancer prevention or care.