Nobody wants cancer. But we may not be doing enough to protect ourselves. Here are three small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in our risk of cancer: 

  • First: Get outside. A study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research shows that people who are in the sun for 15 minutes twice a week are less likely to get lymphoma, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Spending limited time in the sun even improves the survival rate for skin-cancer patients. That’s because vitamin D has strong cancer-fighting properties, which lie dormant in our skin until they’re activated by ultraviolet rays.  

  • Here’s another cancer prevention tactic that bears repeating: Lose ten pounds. Experts say that excess body fat throws our hormones out of whack and creates ideal conditions for cells to mutate into cancer. In fact, it’s so harmful that some experts estimate that carrying extra weight is responsible for up to 20-percent of cancer cases. 

  • And the final anti-cancer tip may be the most important: Stay away from cigarette smoke in any form. Living or working with smokers TRIPLES your risk of lung cancer, even if you’re not around them while they’re smoking. And ventilation doesn’t fix the problem either. One recent study found that tobacco smoke leaves DNA-damaging chemicals called nitrosamines on fabrics, walls, and other surfaces which can be absorbed right through the skin, especially by babies crawling on the floor. The toxins are nearly impossible to get rid of and become even more toxic over time.