How Do I Reduce My Risk of Cancer?

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In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to dedicate this post to how to reduce your risk of cancer. In a way, this is the million dollar question. Scientists and doctors have been researching for decades cancer: how it develops, how to treat it, and how to prevent. Below is what we have seen so far:

  1. Adopt an Mediterranean Diet: This diet focuses on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. It limits red meat and butter, instead choosing lean protein sources, such as fish & chicken, and olive oil, as a healthy fat. Women who adopt this diet have been seen to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
  2. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Research has shown that the more you drink, the greater your risk of developing cancer. It is best to limit your alcohol as much as possible, consuming no more than 1 drink/day for women & 2 drinks/day for men.
  3. Stop Smoking: Smoking in general is terrible for your health, so it is a no-brainer that it will lead to all sorts of cancer. If you need more information, read https://smokefree.gov/quitting-smoking/reasons-quit/health-effects.
  4. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity increases your risk for developing all cancers. For postmenopausal women, this effect is intensified, if the weight was gained after menopause.
  5. Exercise: Physical activity will help you keep a healthy weight. The Department of Health recommends at least 150 minutes/wk of moderate-intensity workouts OR 75 minutes/wk of vigorous workouts. 
  6. Breastfeed Your Babies: Research has shown that breastfeeding your baby can help prevent the development of breast cancer. It is also extremely beneficial for your infant as well. 

For more information:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676

http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/diseases-and-conditions/cancer/cancer-control-month

 

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