These lifestyle choices may make cancer less likely.
You’ve seen the hype-filled headlines: “The Cancer Prevention Diet!” “Slash Your Risk of Cancer in Half in Just Minutes a Day!” Is it true that you can cut your cancer risk with simple choices you make every day?
Well, there’s nothing magic about cancer prevention, no “killer app” that can instantly keep you healthy. Genetics play a big role in cancer, so even if you try to live a perfectly healthy life, it’s possible that you may develop cancer.
But experts estimate that at least a third of all adult cancer cases are linked to lifestyle, which is within your control.
With every healthy choice you make -- and every unhealthy habit you drop -- you’re chipping away at your cancer risk. Here are eight of the healthiest habits you can develop to help prevent cancer (plus a ninth one that experts are still cautious about).
2. Don't Weight.
Many people probably know that carrying too much weight around isn’t good for your heart, but did you know that it’s a major risk factor for cancer as well? Obesity is the culprit behind some 14% of cancer deaths, and more than 3% of new cancer cases, every year.
“Our No. 1 recommendation for cancer risk reduction is to stay as lean as possible within a healthy weight range. This may be one of the most important ways to prevent cancer,” says Alice Bender, MS, RD, manager of nutrition communications at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
In November 2007, the AICR put out an expert report summarizing how food, nutrition, and physical activity affect cancer and cancer prevention. Being overweight, according to the AICR report, is linked to a wide variety of cancers, including esophageal, pancreatic, gall bladder, breast, endometrial, and kidney cancers.