This is the eightieth year that the President has proclaimed April as Cancer Control Month. The proclamation calls on citizens, government agencies, non-government organizations, health care providers and research institutions to raise awareness around cancer control, which includes cancer prevention.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is at the forefront of spreading the word about scientifically proven lifestyle strategies for cancer prevention that reduce risk of cancer.
AICR estimates that one-third of the most common cancers in the United States can be prevented if Americans moved more, maintained a healthy weight and ate more healthfully. Add not smoking and avoiding sun damage to the list of modifiable lifestyle behaviors, and the figure for preventable cancers climbs even higher. By some estimates, nearly half of the U.S. cancers could be prevented by changing everyday habits.
AICR/WCRF have conducted a vigorous global analysis and review of the strongest studies investigating how diet, weight control, avoidance of alcohol and higher levels of physical activity influence the risk of cancer. Experts at AICR and WCRF have developed 10 recommendations for cancer prevention. Following these recommendations will help reduce an individual’s risk of getting cancer.
The ten recommendations for cancer prevention are from the WCRF/AICR Second Expert Report.
1.Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Limit sedentary habits.
3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
9. * It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
10. * After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
*Special Population Recommendations
These positive lifestyle habits will reduce your risk of cancer. AICR’s recommendations are based on scientific evidence and large population studies.
Note to readers: AICR’s 3rd Expert Report will be out next month!