How to Prevent Common Cancers?

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The incidence and burden of cancer is huge.  Nearly 12.7 million of people are diagnosed of cancer every day and 7.6 million die from cancer.  The global cancer epidemic is set to continue rising, with the number of worldwide cancer cases expected to double over the next 20-40 years. 

A new report, published American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCF) by indicated that about a third of some of the most common forms of cancer could be prevented through healthy diet, physical fitness and limiting alcohol intake.  

The reported indicated that by adopting a healthy lifestyle, 38 percent of breast cancers, 47% of stomach cancers and 45% of colon cancer can be prevented. 

To prevent cancers, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends the following: 

1)      Limit consumption of calorie-dense foods, particularly process foods high in added sugar, low in fibber of high in fat.

  • Easting calorie-dense foods can lead to obesity, which is a major risk factor for cancer. 

2)      Avoid sugary drinks 

3)      Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.

  • Eating vegetables and fruits can reduce cancer and also prevent one from getting overweight. 

4)      Limit consumption of red meats such as beef, pork, and lamb, and avoid processed meats.

  • Limit the intake of red meet to 18 ounces per week.  Studies have showed that red and processed meat increase risk of colorectal cancer. 

5)      Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium.

  • Too much salt increases risk of stomach cancer. 

6)      Dietary supplements for lowering cancer risk are not recommended. 

7)      Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight

  • Maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25.  Excess body fat has been showed to be risk factor for post-menopausal breast cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer. 

8)      Be physically active for 30 minutes or more every day. 

  • Studies have shown exercise can reduce cancers. 

9)      Limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.

  • Strong evidence indicated alcohol is linked to cancer of the colon and oral cavity. 

Beside the above recommendations, cancer expert at the World Cancer Congress 2010 also called people to quit smoking, avoid excessive sun exposure and protect themselves to receiving vaccination against cancer-causing infections (such as hepatitis B and human papilloma virus (HPV). 

Expert believes that by making the above life-style changes, your risk of cancer throughout your lifetime can be significantly reduced. 

Source: News release, Union for International Cancer Control 

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