At least two-thirds of all cancers could likely be prevented if Americans would adopt healthier lifestyles. By making the decision to get healthy and maintain a lifestyle of health, you can reduce your risk of a number of cancers, including breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, and esophagus, among others.
Here are six lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your cancer risk.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity account for 14 to 20 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.1 Fat cells cause inflammation in the body that contributes to the growth of cancer cells. By reducing your body fat percentage, you can help lower your risk of not only dying from cancer, but from developing cancer in the first place. Staying within a healthy weight range is the number one recommendation for cancer risk reduction, according to the American Cancer Institute for Cancer Research.2
- Stay active. Moderate exercise can lower levels of inflammation in your body, thus reducing your risk of developing cancer. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week (five days or more). Children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least five days a week.1
- Eat whole foods. Eating processed foods can contribute to a number of health risks, including cancer. Focus on eating whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, and lean meats like chicken and fish, and limit your intake of processed foods. Most of your food should come from plant sources, but when you do eat meat, eat a small portion, and prepare it by baking, boiling, or poaching, instead of frying or charbroiling.1
- Avoid tobacco in any form. 400,000 Americans die every year from smoking, and 26,000 to 73,000 non-smokers die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco isn’t just linked to lung cancer; it is associated with at least 15 different cancers, and an estimated 30 percent of all cancer deaths.1
- Avoid alcohol. Like tobacco, alcohol is linked to a number of cancers, including cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, and breast.2
- Manage your stress. While stress itself may not be a cause of cancer, people who have high levels of stress are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating junk food and avoiding physical activity.2
If you are overweight or obese and need help losing weight, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery. Contact the Nicholson Clinic today to learn more about your weight loss options and if you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
- American Cancer Society -http://www.cancer.org/myacs/newengland/areahighlights/seven-steps-to-reduce-your-cancer-risk
- WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/8-ways-to-lower-cancer-risk?page=2