While there is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer, did you know there are things you can do to decrease your risk?
Scientists estimate that two-thirds of the most common forms of cancers could be prevented: one-third by maintaining a healthy diet, healthy body weight, and being physically active, and one-third by avoiding tobacco.
- Eating a diet rich in whole plant foods helps protect against the risk of cancer. Many plant substances have cancer preventive effects and the way they work together provides the strongest protection.
- Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with a variety of plant foods, eating at least five servings per day of fruits and vegetables, and including whole grains and beans for optimum benefits. These foods with their low-fat, high fiber content help us maintain a healthy weight, as well as a healthy digestive tract - our largest immune organ.
- Limit highly processed or sugary foods and drinks, as they provide little fiber or nutrients while promoting obesity.
- Fatty and processed animal foods should be minimized, choosing leaner protein sources such as fish, poultry, legumes, and low-fat dairy products more often. To avoid increasing risk of colorectal and other types of cancer, red meats should not exceed 18 ounces per week.
- Limit alcohol: one drink or less per day for women and two drinks or less per day for men.
- Alcohol consumption significantly increases risk of over five types of cancer.
HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
Strong scientific evidence indicates that avoiding excess weight is one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of cancer. Being overweight or obese is linked to numerous cancers, including endometrium (lining of the uterus), colon, rectum, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, thyroid, gallbladder, and post menopausal breast cancer. Excess body fat increases hormones and other substances which can fuel certain cancers.
Physical activity can help with weight management, but also has a direct role in regulating a variety of hormones and reducing risk of many cancers, most notably breast, colon, and endometrium. While any amount of activity has health benefits, aim for at least 30-60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity daily to maximize the impact.
And always remember to avoid tobacco in any form
EAT RIGHT, BE FIT, REDUCE YOUR RISK
The same general recommendations also reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease.