Cancer is a scary topic, but it’s important to talk about. The more you know about cancer, the more you and your loved ones can do to prevent it.

Did you know that more than 40% of cancer cases could potentially be prevented with lifestyle changes? There are steps you can take to reduce your risk and improve your overall health. Here are 3 ways to reduce your cancer risk:

Talk to your Doctor
Talking to your doctor is an important step to cancer prevention. They can recommend healthy habits and screenings that could reduce your cancer risk. And you can work with your doctor to create a personalized cancer prevention plan that looks at your age, family history, and other risk factors.

Get regular screenings
The best way to fight cancer is by catching it early. That’s why it’s important to have regular screening exams, regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms. Many common cancers, like breast and colorectal cancer, can be detected early, when they’re more treatable — leading to better outcomes. You can talk with your doctor to see which preventive screenings are best for you.

Take action
Screenings aren’t available for every type of cancer yet. But there are many things you can do outside the doctor’s office to stay aware of your body and improve your overall health. And that can lower your cancer risk.

Know the signs and symptoms
Some cancers have no symptoms — especially in the early stages. Other cancers can give clues about what’s going on inside your body. If you’re concerned about symptoms you’re experiencing, don’t ignore them. For example, early signs of skin cancer include changes in the shape, color, or size of moles or lesions. If you notice something that’s not normal for you, get it checked so your doctor can guide you through next steps.

Know your family health history
Some cancers are hereditary. That means they’re related to genes in your body that can be passed from parent to child. This makes some people more likely to develop cancer than others. So it’s important to gather your family history and track any cancer in your family on a family history form. You never know what information could be relevant to your doctor and reduce your cancer risk.

Make healthy choices
There are also many things you can do in your everyday life that may help prevent cancer. Using sunscreen, for instance, can lower your chances of getting skin cancer. By avoiding alcohol, you can lower your chance of liver or colorectal cancer. And quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer and lung diseases.

We learn more about cancer every year — the best ways to prevent it, detect it, and treat it. While you may not be able to control all risk factors, you can continue to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your cancer risk.