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Life. Cancer

In life. on January 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

The photograph above is a microscopic snapshot of two cancer cells splitting and dividing to become four cancer cells. I am a victim of cancer. It has taken the lives of three people in my family and has attacked a few more. I’m not sure what we can do to rid ourselves of this destructive disease but I pray for an all encompassing solution to come very soon. Until then here are some things that can be done to help prevent it from attacking you.

Via The American Cancer Society

To Help in the fight click Here.

Diet and Physical Activity: What’s the Cancer Connection?

How much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer? Much more than you might think. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are two key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. The good news is that these are things you can control.

Except for quitting smoking, some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk are:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Make healthy food choices.

 

The evidence for this is strong: Each year, about 570,000 Americans die of cancer; fully one-third of these deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying too much weight.

Control your weight.

Staying at a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of several cancers, including cancers of the breast (in women past menopause), colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, among others.

Being overweight can increase cancer risk in many ways. One of the main ways is that excess weight causes the body to produce and circulate more of the hormones estrogen and insulin, which can stimulate cancer growth.

What’s a healthy weight?

One of the best ways to get an idea if you are at a healthy weight is to check your Body Mass Index (BMI), a score based on the relationship between your height and weight. Use our easy online BMI calculator to find out your score. To reduce cancer risk, most people need to keep their BMIs below 25. Ask your doctor what your BMI number means and what action (if any) you should take.

If you are trying to control your weight, a good first step is to watch portion sizes, especially of foods high in calories, fat, and added sugars. Try writing down what and how much you eat and drink for a week and see where you can cut down on portion sizes, cut back on some not-so-healthy foods and drinks, or both!

Be more active.

Watching how much you eat will help you control your weight. The other key is to increase the amount of physical activity you do. Being active helps reduce your cancer risk by helping with weight control, and can also help improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.

More good news — physical activity helps you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too! So grab your tennis shoes and head out the door!

The latest recommendations for adults call for at least 30 minutes of intentional moderate to vigorous activity a day — this is over and above usual daily activities like using the stairs instead of the elevator at your office or doing housework — on 5 or more days per week. Even better, shoot for 45 to 60 minutes. For kids, the recommendation is 60 minutes or more on at least 5 days a week.

Activities considered moderate are those that make you breathe as hard as you would during a brisk walk. This includes things like walking, biking, even housework and gardening. Vigorous activities make you use large muscle groups and make your heart beat faster, make you breathe faster and deeper, and also make you sweat.

Eat healthy foods.

Eating well is also important to improve your health and reduce your cancer risk. Take a good hard look at what you typically eat each day and try these tips to build a healthy diet plan for yourself:

Vegetables and fruits: Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables (including legumes, or peas and beans) and fruits each day. Try to eat those with the most color (a sign of high nutrient content). These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and many other substances that work together to lower risk of many cancers, including cancers of the lung, mouth, esophagus, stomach, and colon. Not only that, if prepared properly, vegetables and fruits are usually low in calories, so eating them in place of higher-calorie foods can help you control your weight.

Whole grains: Aim for at least 3 servings of whole grains each day. There are easy ways to add whole grains to your diet — eat oatmeal at breakfast, choose 100% whole-wheat bread or wraps for your lunchtime sandwich, use brown rice at dinner instead of white.

Processed and red meats: Cutting back on processed meats like hot dogs, bologna, bacon, and deli meat, and red meats like beef, pork, and lamb may help reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers. These foods are also high in saturated fat, so eating less of them and eating them less often will also help lower your risk of heart disease.

Cancer risk reduction in our communities

Adopting a healthier lifestyle is easier for people who live, work, play, or go to school in an environment that supports healthy behaviors. Working together, communities can create the type of environment where healthy choices are easy to make.

We all can contribute to those changes: Let’s ask for healthier food choices at our workplaces and schools. For every junk food item in the vending machine, ask for a healthy alternative. Support restaurants that help you to eat well by offering options like smaller portion sizes, lower-calorie items, and whole-grain products. And let’s help make our communities safer and more appealing places to walk, bike, and be active.

The bottom line

One third of all cancer deaths are related to diet and activity factors. Let’s challenge ourselves to lose some extra pounds, to increase our physical activity, to make healthy food choices, and to look for ways to make our communities healthier places to live, work, and play.

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