Did you know that only about 15% of cancer cases are due to heredity? As shocking as that statistic may be, it can be considered as good news to many of us––meaning that the other 85% of cancer cases are primarily due to our health and lifestyle habits. Essentially, YOU are your best chance at preventing cancer!
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. In the United States, it is estimated that 609,640 people would die from cancer in 2018! While this is sobering news, we have more control over our outcome than we may have previously thought.
Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.
The National Cancer Institute has identified the following risk factors YOU can work to reduce:
- Reduce exposure to
- Reduce chronic inflammation through diet and stress management.
- Layoff the processed food–Folks, if it comes in a box with an ‘ingredient’ list, it’s not considered real food.
- Decrease or completely quit your meat consumption.
- Fill your day with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, rice and beans.
- Give up or reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Stop smoking–Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.
- Practice Safe Sex–Cancer causing infections, such as hepatitis and human papilloma virus (HPV), are responsible for up to 25% of cancer cases in low and middle-income countries.
- Be sure to attend to your preventative appointments, and do preventative personal exams regularly. Take note of any changes in your physical body such as lumps, unusual rashes or spots, or nagging physical symptoms such as coughs.
With such a great percentage (85%) of cases being caused by our health and lifestyle habits, it is up to us to ensure we’re doing everything we can to decrease our chances of getting cancer.
If you’re not sure where or how to start, we offer a variety of programs and services to help you address these risk factors and achieve your optimal well-being–get in touch today!