We have been hearing the same message for years now: to reduce your cancer risk, regardless of age, we need to eat a healthy diet, be active daily, avoid or limit alcohol, and don’t smoke.
The reason we continue to hear this message? Does it work?
According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, “postmenopausal women whose behaviors were consistent with the Nutrition and Physical Activity Cancer Prevention Guidelines put forth by the American Cancer Society had lower risk for cancer incidence, and cancer-related and cancer-unrelated death.”
Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, CSO, University of Arizona Cancer Center member and professor of public health at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, was among the study’s key contributors, and she discovered that those who follow the guidelines have a “17 percent lower risk for cancer incidence, 20 percent lower risk for cancer-related death, and 27 percent lower risk for death from all causes.”Also mentioned in Gerri Kelly’s story? Dr. Thomson found that “the association was stronger for Asian, African-American, and Hispanic women, compared with non-Hispanic white women. It is possible that different ethnic groups may have differential disease course with varied response to environmental and/or behavioral exposures.”So even if you’ve heard it all before, it’s never too late to take this message to heart. Eat right, exercise, never smoke, and cut the alcohol intake, and you’ll be on your way toward reducing your cancer risk.•