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5 Steps to Lower Cancer Risk

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Today (February 4, 2010) is designated World Cancer Day to create awareness around cancer and how to prevent it. Over 12 Million people get diagnosed yearly around the world and 7.6 Million die from cancer. Cancer is responsible for 1 in every 8 deaths worldwide. The good news is that 40% of cancers are preventable.

5 Habits can significantly reduce risk of cancer:

  1. Avoid Smoking. Just don't do it! It is the number one cause of cancer. Also avoid second hand smoke because it can be just as bad.
  2. Limit alcohol. While there are some potential health benefits to drinking alcohol for your heart, cancer risk goes up with even small amounts consumed. Moderation is one drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
  3. Stay out of the sun. When I was growing up "laying out" was popular during the summer months to get a nice golden tan. We have learned a lot about the sun since those days. A little exposure (20 minutes or so) is fine, but getting burned and too much exposure leads to skin cancer (and wrinkles!)
  4. Maintain a healthy weight by eating right and moving regularly. Just carrying excess pounds raises risk. Eat your fruits,veggies, and whole grains because those contain cancer preventive antioxidants.
  5. Protect against infections that could cause cancer. HPV is directly linked to cervical cancer, and hepatitis can cause liver and stomach cancer.
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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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