6 Ways Technology Can Help You Avoid Cancer Risk Factors
Cancer risks can vary greatly depending on several factors, including age, family history, lifestyle, and overall health. In some cases, the risk of cancer can also be reduced by making healthy lifestyle choices and getting regular check-ups. In addition to building healthy habits, you can use technology to lead a healthier life. The following pieces of technology can help you avoid or reduce exposure to risk factors associated with getting cancer.
1. Smoking and Alcohol Cessation
Research from the US Department of Health and Human Services states that smoking and drinking are leading causes of preventable death in the United States and have been demonstrated to cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, and other body parts. If you want to reduce your risks of these types of cancer, one of the first things to do is stop smoking and consuming alcohol.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But you’ll have a higher chance of success by using a combination of technology-based and non-technology-based support.
For starters, there are many mobile apps specifically designed for quitting smoking and drinking. Quit Tracker for Android helps in several ways, including tracking the money you spend on cigarettes and the days you stay smoke-free. It also provides rewards as you get closer to your goal and even offers a game to distract you when you crave a cigarette.
Other technologies such as telemedicine platforms allow you to consult with a doctor remotely, making it easier for you to get the support you need without having to leave your home. Additionally, you don’t have to go at it alone. Online communities can provide community and accountability, which can be crucial in the journey to quit smoking and drinking.
2. Reducing Exposure to UV Radiation
Research published in the International Journal of Dermatology shows that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major contributing factor to skin cancer. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of developing melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer. It’s no surprise then that you’d want to reduce your exposure to avoid possible negative consequences.
Aside from things like sunscreen, hats, and long sleeves, there are a few pieces of tech that can help. For example, the UV Lens app provides up-to-date forecasts of UV intensity across the day. The app also helps you understand the effect of UV radiation on your skin type and gives personalized risk assessments each day.
Another option is the Shade device, which is a clinical-grade UV exposure monitor that you wear on your wrist like a watch. The device is Bluetooth-enabled and comes with a companion app that provides real-time analytics. The device is accurate enough to be trusted by researchers but is also available to consumers.
3. Reducing the Risk of Infection
Research published in EMBO Reports estimates that 20% of all human tumors are caused by infections. This includes infections from viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Thankfully, there are several pieces of tech designed to help prevent the spread of infection.
Smart masks are one high-tech attempt at helping curb the spread of infection from airborne viruses. For example, Razer’s concept for the world’s smartest mask features filtration, fluid resistance, active ventilation, and a charging case lined with bacteria and virus-eliminating UV light. At the same time, Dyson, the brand behind many innovations such as bagless vacuums and bladeless fans, has designed its own wearable for preventing infections: the Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones.
4. Improving Your Diet
In 2004, research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition described the link between diet, nutrition, and the prevention of cancer. The study found that eating a healthy diet may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
Technology offers several solutions here, including the many apps designed to help you lose weight. These apps are often available for smartphones as well as smartwatches, making meal tracking and planning easy to do.
For example, the Carb Manager app lets you set up weight loss goals and log your daily water intake. It also offers interesting daily recipes, allows you to log your exercise, tracks your sleep, and gives you a “Keto grade” on the foods you’re consuming. Further, the app includes premium features, such as tracking cholesterol levels, personalized meal plans, and advanced health insights.
5. Increasing How Much You Exercise
According to the American Cancer Society, there is plenty of evidence to show how the risk of cancer might be affected by poor diet as well as a lack of physical activity. For example, obesity is linked with a higher risk for prostate, thyroid, and stomach cancer.
Technology offers lots of ways to increase your activity and build fitness habits:
For example, smart fitness mirrors make it possible to get personalized workout routines that mimic having a personal trainer in your own home. If you’re looking for something a little more accessible and less costly, be sure to check out one of the best apps for live and on-demand fitness classes.
6. Avoiding Pesticides and Chemicals
Lastly, research published by the National Library of Medicine reveals how many pesticides are carcinogenic or tumor promoters. For this reason, if you’re looking to reduce your risk of cancer, you’ll want to avoid exposure to the pesticides and chemicals that may be dangerous to your health.
One way to reduce your exposure to pesticides is to learn about the safest kinds of foods to eat. For example, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) non-profit lists what it calls the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” foods to avoid and buy.
Several apps include this information to different degrees. But the EWG app called Healthy Living includes over 200,000 personal care, cleaning, and food products rated for health and safety by scientists.
Taking Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer
Several steps can be taken to reduce the risk of cancer, such as avoiding tobacco in all its forms, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. While many factors influence a person’s cancer risk, using these pieces of technology can help you maintain the healthiest body and mind possible.