Exposure to natural sun and tanning beds has been shown to increase your risk for skin cancer. But spray-on tans aren’t completely risk-free either; the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is an active ingredient in fake tanning products, including lotions and tanning spray, and the FDA warns that DHA shouldn’t be sprayed into the mouth, eyes, or nose because the risks of inhalation are unknown. When high amounts of these chemicals are breathed in, they can create free radicals, which have been linked to cell damage and cancer risk. The safest option: no tan at all. If you must, use an at-home lotion and wear protective gear. Check out the 51 things dermatologists need you to know about skin cancer.
Recent studies have shown that calcium may protect against colon cancer: Participants in the Nurses’ Health Study who consumed more than 700 mg of calcium per day per day had up to a 45 percent reduced risk of colon cancer than those who consumed 500 mg or less per day. Although 700 mg may sound like a lot, it can add up with a cup of low-fat yogurt for breakfast (345 mg), a cup of low-fat milk with lunch (300 mg), and a cup of spinach in your salad with dinner (292 mg).
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A Finnish study found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several cancer-fighting compounds, including isothiocyanates (or ITCs), indoles, and sulforaphane. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned or jarred sauerkraut before eating. Better yet, skip the hot dog or sausage—these processed meats are associated with a greater risk of colon cancer. Read up on the 20 states with the highest cancer rates.