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Jul 05

Wellness Wednesday: Reduce Your Cancer Risk with Healthy Living

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 8:38 AM by Jenny Kosek

WellnessWednesdayAdapted from the American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research 

April is National Cancer Control Month. We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, environment and lifestyle. So start your prevention defense with the facts!

The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Studies have identified these cancer risk factors:

  • Obesity increases risk of premature death with a link between obesity and breast, colorectal and other cancers.
  • High intake of red and processed meat and/or alcohol, low physical activity and prolonged period of sitting increase the risk of cancer or early mortality.
  • Increasing levels of specific types of air pollution is associated with higher death rates from cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.

While all cancers cannot be prevented, experts recommend these steps for lowering your risk:

  • Complete preventive tests and screenings, as recommended, for your age and gender. 
  • Avoid tobacco since it is linked to lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney cancer.
  • Eat a healthy diet similar to the Mediterranean Diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables (organic, if possible), fish, whole grains, legumes, extra virgin olive oil and nuts.
  • Limit processed and red meats which have been linked to colon cancer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying excess weight has been linked to six different types of cancer.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: one serving (12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine, or 1 oz. hard liquor) per day for women and two servings per day for men.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily—walking, vacuuming, playing with kids, dancing or snow shoeing—just move!
  • Use sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid the sun’s UV rays

While there are no guarantees, healthy living may reduce the risk of developing cancer. Talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program, and discuss your cancer risk factors and prevention opportunities with your healthcare provider.


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