Tags: Cancer | cancer risk | screening tests | obesity | hpv

8 Steps to Cut Cancer Risk by 40 Percent

8 Steps to Cut Cancer Risk by 40 Percent
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:06 PM

Between one-third and one-half of all Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, which makes the disease the second leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease. But eight specific strategies have been proven to cut the risk of developing cancer by nearly 40 percent.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and is rapidly catching up with heart disease, our No. 1 killer.

An estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year and 595,690 people will die from the disease, statistics show.

But Dr. Kurtis Campbell tells Newsmax Health you can dramatically reduce your odds of being among those numbers by adopting a handful of healthy habits.

He points to a new Australian study, which found that changing eight lifestyle habits – especially smoking, unhealthy eating, and the overuse of alcohol – could reduce cancer risk by more than 38 percent.

This study backs up previous research, which found that two-thirds of cancer is caused by gene mutations, DNA, which are errors in DNA – that may be overcome by healthy lifestyle habits.

“Cancer may be a random biological event, but your lifestyle choices can influence it by turning on a cancer oncogene or turning off a cancer suppressor gene,” says Campbell, a surgical oncologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

An oncogene is a gene that has the potential to cause cancer, while a suppressor gene helps turn off tumor growth.

“Genetics and lifestyle choices are interrelated,” says Campbell.

Here are his top eight steps to reduce your cancer risk:

Don't use tobacco. The link between smoking and lung cancer is well known, but many people don’t realize that tobacco use ups the risk for other cancers as well. Among them: cancers of the esophagus, mouth, larynx, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, cervix, colon and rectum, and multiple myeloma.

Lose weight. According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity increased risks for kidney esophageal, gastric, liver, pancreatic, and colon cancer. Obese women are at a two-to-four times higher risk of endometrial cancer, and, if post-menopausal, at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer as well.

Exercise regularly. The link between exercise and cancer isn’t that well understood, but it is known that regular physical activity reduces the probability of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which boost cancer risk. “People with diabetes and cardiovascular disease are at a higher risk of cancer, possibly because these conditions impede blood to the body’s organs, which might lead to genetic mutations,” Campbell says.

Eat a healthy diet. While there is conflicting information on the role of specific foods and cancer risk, it is wise to eliminate refined foods, like white sugar and flour, and also avoid processed and packaged foods that contain chemicals and preservatives.

Limit alcohol. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Excess alcohol use increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast. “I’ll never win the battle for abstinence, but minimizing your alcoholic intake is clearly better for you, especially if you are at risk of liver cancer,” says Campbell.

Get screened. Screening tests for people who appear healthy, but who are at risk for certain cancers, are an important way of cutting cancer risk. Ask your doctor or health professional for screening recommendations for colon, breast, and cervical, and lung cancer, as well as others you may be at a higher-than-average risk of developing.

Use sun protection. Skin cancer and melanoma are all increasing. “Using sunscreen – and wearing protective clothing, including a hat – is an easy way to slash your cancer risk,” says Campbell.

Protect yourself from HPV. Some types of HPV (human papillomavirus) can cause oral, or mouth cancer HPV is also linked to genital cancers, including that of the vagina, vulva, penis, and also rectal cancer. There is an HPV vaccine for teenagers and young adults; practicing safe sex can limit the spread of the virus.

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Few things are as frightening as receiving a cancer diagnosis. But there are healthy habits you can adopt that can cut your risk by up to 40 percent. Here are eight top strategies that work.
cancer risk, screening tests, obesity, hpv
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2018-06-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:06 PM
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