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5 Simple Ways to Reduce Cancer Risk

Heal
enjoying the sun

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4 in 10 cases of cancer can be prevented, say researchers.

Cancer is scary stuff, especially because it sometimes feels like you read that every single thing in modern life can cause it. Research just published in the British Journal of Cancer gave some hope and needed perspective, though, reminding us that simple lifestyle choices can be powerful in reducing our risk. For this week’s Healthy Habits, let’s get focus on what we can do to keep the odds tipped in our favor.

  1. Avoid tobacco smoke and smoking. Smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer, the trigger behind 17.7% of male cancer cases and 12.4% of female cancer cases, according to the new research.  
  2. Keep your weight in a healthy range. Obesity is linked to 13 kinds of cancer, say the researchers, including cancer of the breast, uterus, bowel and kidney. This should raise a red flag in the U.S., where nearly 40 percent of adults are obese.  
  3. Stay sun safe. The third biggest preventable cause of cancer is overexposure to UV light from the sun and from tanning beds.
  4. Curb excess alcohol. If you are looking for inspiration to cut down your intake, here’s advice from the American Cancer Society. “Routinely having more than one or two drinks per day could raise your cancer risk. Drinking alcohol is linked to a higher risk of mouth and throat cancers, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.”
  5. Boost your fiber intake. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 30 grams of fiber is the target. Plant fiber may protect against colorectal cancer and non-starchy fruits and vegetables may protect against mouth cancer and cancers of the pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon and stomach. Load up on oats, barley, beans, leafy greens and lots of fruits and vegetables in your shopping cart.

Kathryn Drury Wagner

Kathryn Drury Wagner is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Hawaii’s Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!, a science and natural history “gross out” for young readers.  


This entry is tagged with:
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