10 Doable Steps to Lower Your Cancer Risk

June 10, 2018

10 Doable Steps to Lower Your Cancer Risk

cancer ward, hospital, hallway, nurses walking

Here is a scary thought, according to the National Cancer Institute it is estimated that in 2018 over 1.6 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer and that over 600 thousand will die from cancer.

There is some positive news in that something can be done about it.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) roughly 40% of all cancers are preventable. The WCRF is regarded as the leading authority in the field of cancer prevention research and they have been at the job for decades now.

Together with the American Institute for Cancer Research and other organizations, they just released their Third Expert Report, titled “Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective” that closely and extensively covers decades of cancer prevention research. In fact, this is their third analysis report released since 1997.

Their mission is to investigate and evaluate all areas of cancer prevention research and provide up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of relevant information on how to lower cancer risk.

At the center of their research is the Continuous Update Project (CUP). Like its name suggests, CUP is a continuous project that examines and analyzes research into how factors such as diet, nutrition, lifestyle and physical activities lower or raise the risk of developing cancer. Their guidance is important in not only preventing cancer but in guiding researchers to potentially effective areas of cancer prevention research.

The report itself is huge, about 12,000 pages, but no worries you don’t have to read it all to gain some powerful knowledge that could help you and others to lower the risk of cancer as thankfully the authors have taken 30-years of preventative research and boiled it down to 10 recommendations–all based upon proven results, not speculation.

As co-author Dr. Nigel Brockton said, "Each of these recommendations is based on factors for which there is strong evidence for increasing or decreasing risk of cancer, and they form a blueprint for healthy living to reduce the risk of cancer."

And thankfully, these steps are realistic and doable. So here they are:

10 Recommendations for Lowering Your Cancer Risk

  1. Being a healthy weight and avoiding weight gain is a big factor
  2. Get out and MOVE! Your body is not meant to sit but evolved to move. This does not mean hours at the gym or the running of marathons. Just focus on being physically active throughout the day, take walking breaks, stand, look for opportunities to move. In fact, there are some studies that show that consistently moving throughout the day beats a once a day workout.
  3. Pay attention to what you eat, your diet should focus on more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
  4. Needless to say, keep fast foods to a minimum.
  5. Cut back on red meat and especially any processed meats.
  6. Sugary drinks, even fruit juices, should be limited as they are packed with sugar
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation, limited consumption is best.
  8. Get your nutrition from real, whole foods and don’t depend upon vitamins or supplements as your source.
  9. For moms, breastfeeding if at all possible is a very positive activity
  10. And while these above are all about cancer prevention, it is HIGHLY recommended to follow these if you have been diagnosed with cancer as they will support recovery efforts.

While lifestyle changes are in order and while some of these steps may be harder for some, they are all quite doable. The added benefits are not limited to just lowering your odds of getting cancer but following these recommendations will increase your longevity, quality of life and likely bring greater satisfaction and emotional well being to you as well.

The point is to do something about it. Start with any one of these, for example you could set a timer at work to get up and stand and walk about every 30 minutes. Or maybe replace sodas and sugary drinks with sparkling water. Once you get one healthy habit in place it will become easier to add others.

Have fun, make it a game and enjoy becoming healthier!

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