Preventing Cancer with Lifestyle Changes

Last week I wrote about how lifestyle is a major factor that determines how likely you are to develop cancer. An article this week shows that of 66,000 postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 79, followed for an average of 8.3 years, those who followed the cancer prevention guidelines of the American Cancer Society had a 17 percent lower risk of cancer, a 20 percent lower risk of cancer-related death, and a 27 percent lower risk of death from all causes (Cancer Prevention Research, January 8, 2014). On specific types of cancer, they had a 22 percent lower risk for developing breast cancer and a 52 percent lower risk for colorectal cancer.

The ACS cancer-preventing lifestyle factors include: • maintain a healthful weight throughout your lifetime • eat healthfully (eat five or more servings of produce daily, eat whole grains instead of refined grains, and restrict red meats and processed meats) • limit alcohol (one drink per day or fewer for women) • exercise moderately to vigorously for at least a half-hour at least five days a week • avoid smoking and second-hand smoke

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