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10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Top Tips for Maintaining
a Healthy Weight

  • Choose foods lower in calorie density. ("Calorie density" describes how many calories foods contain bite-for-bite.) To maintain a healthy weight, it's best to choose mostly lower calorie-dense foods, which naturally have fewer calories but are filling because they contain plenty of water and fiber, like vegetables and fruits.
  • Keep an eye on portion size. Only eat when you're hungry and stop before you feel full. With moderate- to high-calorie foods, choose small serving sizes to control how much you're eating.

Cancer prevention is about achieving a healthy balance. The diet and lifestyle choices you make today can help prevent cancer tomorrow. Tip the balance in your favor and lower your risk of cancer by following the recommendations in our featured brochure, 10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk.

  1. Stay in shape. Be a healthy weight.
  2. Move more. Be active for at least 30 minutes every day in any way.
  3. Opt for foods lower in calorie density.
  4. Enjoy a plant-based diet. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
  5. Make less room for red meat. Eat less beef, pork, and lamb.
  6. Cut down on alcohol. if you do drink alcohol, try to limit your intake to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
  7. Eat less salt. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt.
  8. For cancer prevention, don't rely on dietary supplements. Enjoy a balanced diet.
  9. If you can, breastfeed your baby.
  10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

If these sound like too many rules for you to follow, don't worry about the occasional indulgence; the important thing is to make healthy choices every day.

Weight and cancer risk – what's the link?

There is strong evidence that being overweight increases the risk of the following cancers: colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, endometrial, breast (in postmenopausal women) and gallbladder.

Scientists report that there are several reasons for this link. Research shows that fat cells, for example, release hormones such as estrogen, which increases the risk of breast cancer.

Studies have also shown that fat, particularly if it is stored around the waist, increases the level of "growth hormones" the body produces. Having high levels of these hormones is linked to a greater risk of some cancers.

For more information on reducing your risk of cancer, download a PDF of 10 Ways to Reduce Your Cancer Risk.

Published on August 28, 2012

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