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Do lifestyle choices affect cancer risk?

One in three of the seven million cancer death worldwide is caused by nine potentially modifiable risk factors, according to a study from Harvard Medical School (Lancet, November 19, 2005.) Being overweight causes your full fat cells to release chemicals that cause inflammation that can lead to cancer. Lack of fruit and vegetables deprives you of antioxidants that prevent cancer. Lack of exercise increases inflammation that causes cancer by the same mechanism as full fat cells . Smoking exposes you to nicotine that causes blood vessels to grow and nourish cancer cells. Excess alcohol dehydrates cells, which can cause cancer. Unprotected sex exposes you to cancer-causing viruses. Urban air pollution and indoor smoke from solid fuels expose you to carcinogens in the air, and contaminated injections expose you to viruses and other agents that cause cancer. You can improve your odds against cancer by avoiding overweight, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising, avoiding smoking and alcohol, practicing safe sex, and avoiding indoor and outdoor air pollution whenever possible. Avoid injections unless they are necessary for health.

February 1, 2006

May 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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