Researchers in the U.S. and Britain have recently reported that you can cut the risk of cancer by one-third by simply following a healthy lifestyle.
Researchers have discovered that the medical profession has been right all along; living a healthy lifestyle can cut the risk of developing certain cancers. In a recent study, researchers from the U.S. and Britain found that people who eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and watch their weight cut their risk of developing any of the twelve most common cancers by one-third.
The Report Findings
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recently published a report with data collected from the U.S., Britain, China, and Brazil that showed a few minor lifestyle changes could lower a person’s risk of cancer significantly.
The report showed that breast cancer in the U.S. could be lowered by 38% while in Britain it can be lowered by 42%. Pancreatic cancer can be lowered in the U.S. by 39% and in Britain by 41%. The ability to lower such deadly cancers with treatment as simple as diet, exercise, and weight control is a significant finding. The authors of the study hope it is a step toward encouraging people to lead healthier lives.
Lifestyle Changes to Make
What do they mean by a healthy lifestyle? Simply eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on red meats and fats are the main diet changes that are necessary. Adding exercise four times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time also helps to decrease the risk of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important too.
Figuring the Body Mass Level (BMI) is the best way to determine a person’s ideal weight. To figure BMI, multiply body weight in pounds by 703 and then divide that total by the height in inches. Divide that total again by the height of inches for the BMI rate. People with a BMI of 25 or less are considered in the healthy weight range. A BMI over 30 means it’s time to concentrate on working towards a healthier body weight.
Other Risk Factors to Change
A healthy lifestyle also includes not smoking and limiting alcohol intake. Non-smokers automatically decrease their risk for cancer by one-third. And a recent study in Britain at the University of Oxford found that drinking alcohol increased a woman’s chances of developing breast, liver, mouth, throat and colon cancer by 13%. The more alcoholic drinks a woman has per day, the greater the risk increases for cancer.
Changes Government and Schools should Make
The report also suggested recommendations to government, schools, and industry on ways to help people stay healthy. Among these recommendations are:
- Adding bicycle and walking paths along roads.
- Schools should encourage exercise and serve healthy lunches.
- All unhealthy foods should be replaced by healthy alternatives in vending machines in schools and workplaces.
- The food and drink industries should make public health a priority.
While not all cancers are preventable, a majority of them can be prevented just by living a healthier lifestyle. By making a few simple changes in lifestyle, a person can reduce the risk of cancer significantly and live a longer, healthier life.
Stein, Rob. “A Drink a Day Raises Women’s Risk of Cancer, Study Indicates”. The Washington Post, February 25th, 2009.