Saturday, June 26, 2010

You Can Significantly Modify Your Cancer Risk

So says the Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Report published by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. The report took five years to compile and contains the analysis of over 7,000 large-scale studies by 21 international experts. Key findings include:

• Some 30-35% of cancers are caused by diet.
• Other than not smoking, the single most important thing you can do to prevent cancer is to keep your weight under control.
• Cancers linked to obesity include endometrial cancer, colon, kidney, pancreatic, postmenopausal breast cancers, and some lymphomas and leukemias.
• Even a 5-10% weight loss can be significant.
• Inactivity increases the risk of breast and colon cancer.
• Even one drink a day can significantly increase breast cancer risk. (But one or two drinks/day “very substantially reduces heart disease risk.”)
• Dietary supplements are not recommended to prevent cancer.
• Plant foods are recommended to protect against digestive tract, lung and prostate cancers.

Factors with convincing evidence they increase cancer risk include obesity, abdominal fatness, consuming red or processed meat, and drinking alcohol. On a more positive note, things with convincing or probable evidence they decrease cancer risk are physical activity; lactation; and consuming milk, non-starchy vegetables, onions, garlic, fruits, and foods that contain fiber, folate, beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin C, selenium.

I find this very encouraging. Certainly progress is being made in finding a cure for cancer, and that’s great. Why not take steps to reduce the risk of even getting it to start with?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment.