Research shows that weight, diet and physical activity level affect the risk of cancer. Learn 10 important and easy steps to reduce the risk of cancer.
Being overweight puts people at risk for developing eight types of cancer: colon, rectum, esophagus, uterus (endometrium), pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, and breast.
Some foods increase the risk of cancer, while others help lower it.
Performing physical activity can protect against some types of cancer. It also helps control weight.
Most people know that they can lower their risk of cancer if they do not smoke. But they may not know what other steps they can take to reduce the risk of cancer. In fact, many people believe that it is impossible to prevent some types of cancer.
Almost one-third of the most common types of cancer could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and following a healthy diet.
Approximately one-third of all cancer cases could be prevented by avoiding smoking and breathing in tobacco smoke.
10 keys to prevent cancer:
If you cannot do all these things, do what you can. Any progress towards these goals could help. Try to make gradual changes that you can maintain over time.
- Stay Slim
- Move more, sit less
- Avoid sugary drinks and fast foods
- Eat more foods of plant origin
- Restrict red and processed meats
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Limit salt and salty foods
- Do not rely on supplements to prevent cancer
- Breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco
Staying at a healthy weight is one of the most important ways to protect you from cancer. The ideal is to achieve a body mass index (BMI) of 21 to 23. Try to avoid gaining weight as you get older, especially around the waist.
Move more, sit less:
Set yourself a goal to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Take a brisk walk, bike or work in the garden. Look for ways to incorporate more activity into your daily life, for example, go to work walking or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Consult your doctor before increasing your activity level.
Avoid sugary drinks and fast foods:
High-fat foods and junk foods as well as sugary drinks have many calories and increase your chances of gaining weight.
Eat more foods of plant origin:
Incorporate whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) into your diet. These foods contain many nutrients and fibers and few calories. Limit intake of foods containing refined starches, which contribute to weight gain.
Restrict red and processed meats:
Red and processed meats have been associated with colon cancer. Limit consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, and goat) and choose lean cuts. Avoid cured, smoked, salted or preserved meats. Poultry and fish are healthier options.
Limit alcohol consumption:
If you decide to consume alcohol, do not drink more than two drinks per day if you are male or one if you are female.
Limit salt and salty foods:
We need some salt (sodium) to be healthy, but most people consume too much. And most of the salt comes from processed foods. Read food labels carefully and try to limit salt. Most people should consume no more than 2,400 mg of sodium per day.
Do not rely on supplements to prevent cancer:
Try to get the vitamins and minerals you need from the foods you consume, not from pills. Your doctor can tell you if you need to take vitamins or minerals to supplement your diet.
Breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months:
If you have a baby, try to breastfeed for at least 6 months. This can help protect you from developing breast cancer. It can also help prevent your baby from being overweight now and in the future.
Do not smoke or chew tobacco:
Tobacco use is linked to at least 15 cancers and is responsible for about 30 percent of cancer deaths. If you smoke, stop it. If you do not smoke, do not start. Do not let other people smoke around you, either. Other people’s smoke can also be deadly.
If you have survived cancer, you should also follow these recommendations (unless your doctor tells you otherwise). They could protect you from having cancer in the future as well as from other chronic diseases.