Although nothing will ever be able to give you a 100-percent, money-back guarantee that you'll never develop cancer, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), focus on four areas to reduce your risk of cancer.
The first is, simply put: don't use tobacco in any form. According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco use is the single-most preventable cause of death. Cigarette smoking alone causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths every year. Other forms of tobacco also significantly increase cancer risk.
The AICR says that most people have gotten that message: 98 percent of respondents to a recent survey were aware of cancer-related risks from tobacco. But fewer than half were aware of other ways to reduce risk:
- Crowd your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, soy and other plant-based foods. Scientists are still discovering the exact links between these foods and reduced cancer rates, but it appears that the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals they provide help the body prevent or slow the cancer process. The National Cancer Institute recommends up to 10 servings of plant-based foods each day.
- Maintain a healthy weight. It appears that fat cells actually release hormones and other growth factors into the bloodstream, prompting an acceleration of cell division. More fat cells mean more opportunity for cell division, and that alone could increase the risk of cancer.
- Get regular exercise. This works two ways: First, it can help you maintain your weight, curbing that risk factor. But research also indicates that physical activity also seems to regulate the hormones and insulin-like growth factors released from the fat cells you do have.
According to the AICR, a diet based primarily on plant foods can reduce your risk of cancer by 20 percent. Combine that with physical activity and weight management, and you can reduce your risk by 30 percent.
CRO Akwa Wellness
American Institute for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute