Reduce cancer risk with a healthy lifestyle
By Sandra Barnes, The Mountaineer
October 2, 2017
“Getting regular exercise can go a long way toward reducing the risk of cancer.
‘Physical inactivity is associated with increased cancer risk,’ said Dr. Kate Queen, medical director of the Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center.
Studies indicate that the risk of invasive breast cancer can be decreased by 15 to 50 percent among physically active women, she notes. And the risk of colon cancer can be decreased by 40 to 70 percent through regular physical activity.
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and maintain an ideal body weight, Queen says.
Although a direct relationship between diet and the risk of cancer has not been established, eating healthful foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains can be beneficial in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Avoiding tobacco products and limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages are other cancer-reduction strategies that are advised by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.
Queen says that she sometimes sees patients who ask why they have gotten cancer when they have made an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are interrelated factors associated with cancer risk for individuals—such as a genetic disposition—that make it difficult to identify specific causes and clearly-defined preventative measures, she points out.
However, people can make behavioral changes to improve their chances of living healthy lives.”