Key changes in lifestyle can decrease cancer riskBy Veita Bland, M.D. / February 17, 2017
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One of the most feared words in the language of any society are the words that denote cancer. Even though the outlook for treatment of many cancers has improved, the word sends chills up and down the spines of most people.
What is more important though is the fact that most people are not aware that they have the power in their own hands to lower their risk of cancer. Your way of life can have tremendous effects upon your chances of certain cancers. Again, taking time to live consciously and making lifestyle changes can make a huge difference.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) conducts a yearly survey that looks at the awareness of the general public to lifestyle changes that can fight certain cancers.
The survey noted that 87 percent of respondents felt that genetics played a role in whether people develop cancer or not. In actuality, this is not true 90-95 percent of the time.
Studies show that abstaining from smoking is the number one lifestyle change one can adopt that will decrease one’s cancer risk. The next lifestyle change one can adopt is to maintain a normal weight. Many do not realize the connection between alcohol consumption and cancer, another lifestyle change that can be made.
Many are aware that the consumption of red and processed meat can result in a higher risk for colon cancer. It is estimated that colorectal cancers would decrease by 45 percent if people ate diets higher in fiber and less meats.
A diet that is plant based, high in fiber, with fruits and vegetables is the best for cancer prevention.
Of course we know that sun exposure is also a cancer risk factor. Remember that a sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for cancer. The more physically active one is, the lower the risk.
Take the time to read the 2017 AICR Cancer Risk Awareness Survey Report. It is an easy read with so much information about lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on many lives.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on North Carolina A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.