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Well, there’s nothing magic about cancer prevention, no “killer app” that can instantly keep you healthy. Genetics play a big role in cancer, so even if you try to live a perfectly healthy life, it’s possible that you may develop cancer.But experts estimate that at least a third of all adult cancer cases are linked to lifestyle, which is within your control.
With every healthy choice you make -- and every unhealthy habit you drop -- you’re chipping away at your cancer risk. Here are seven of the healthiest habits you can develop to help prevent cancer.
1. Be Smoke Free: Lung cancer kills more women and men in the U.S. than any other cancer -- 28% of all cancer deaths, or about 160,000 people every year. The vast majority of those deaths are due to smoking. Smoking has also been linked to more than a dozen other cancers and accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths overall.
2. Don't Weight ( this is a play on words): Many people probably know that carrying too much weight around isn’t good for your heart, but did you know that it’s a major risk factor for cancer as well? Obesity is the culprit behind some 14% of cancer deaths, and more than 3% of new cancer cases, every year.
3. Bust a Move: All forms of physical activity help to prevent many forms of cancer, according to the AICR Expert Report. You may not get six-pack abs with 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, but a number of studies have found evidence that just this much physical activity can cut your risk of many common cancers by 30% to 50%. It doesn't matter what you do, just do it.
4. Plant Your Plate: There are a number of different foods that may help to prevent certain types of cancer. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains should cover two-thirds of your plate; the other one-third should contain lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy.
5. Drop the Drink: American Cancer Society recommend that women limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day, and men no more than two.
6. Shake Off Stress: Find healthy ways of coping with stress, like exercise (which helps to reduce cancer risk), meditation, and journaling.
7. Dig Your Roots: Family history is a great indicator of possibilities and strategies for cutting cancer risk.
Great health is not a right or a privilege, it's a job.
References from WebMD June 2013
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