We all know someone affected by cancer. The subject matter may be dark, but a cancer-preventing lifestyle is an uplifting one. As part of Cancer Awareness Month at YouBeauty, we’ll help you find the tools within your reach to make your chances of being cancer free much greater.

This education is so crucial because not everyone understands the factors that can and cannot affect the development of cancer. A three-year survey of newly diagnosed cancer patients at the Leicestershire Cancer Centre in Britain is a prime example: A majority of the people surveyed were unaware how lifestyle could truly play a role in the development of, and survival with cancer. Specifically, they downplayed the importance of diet, exercise and obesity.

READ MORE: Boosting Inner Beauty While Battling Cancer

There’s a clear connection between healthier life choices and disease, yet not everyone is connecting the dots. A large scale American Dietetic Survey shows that people are focusing some knowledge on food and fitness—but they’re just not making that knowledge part of their life choices as much as they could. More than half of Americans admit they’re eating and exercising at a fair level at best (and that grade probably has some inflation).

And results show: obesity’s on the rise, which leads to a greater risk of breast cancer. In contrast, regular physical activity makes freedom from breast cancer and colon cancer more likely.

THIS STUDY, EXPLAINED: Exercise Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

This month (and always on YouBeauty), we’ll keep you up-to-date on foods to choose that will make it more likely you’ll be cancer free (A recent study showed that a diet of cooked green vegetables, legumes and brown rice reduces colon polyps.)

What misconceptions do people still have about cancer?

In the survey of British cancer patients, they reported that injury could cause cancer, which is an outdated finding from over 50 years ago. The kind of “injury” that could make an impact is at the cellular level, when “Major Agers,” like toxins, infections and free oxygen radicals damage DNA. If you work to keep your good cells free of damage, then your “p53” gene can do a better job of identifying the cells that are vulnerable to developing into cancer.

About one fifth of the patients surveyed also believed that cancer could spread as a result of surgery. Fortunately they were accurate about some things: some forms of cancer are curable, and smoking is linked to cancer; even second hand smoke is linked to cancer recurrence.

We’ll continue to get correct messages to you, so together, you’re not fearful or misinformed, but in control of your remarkably beautiful (and hopefully getting more beautiful) body.