Cancer is an epidemic in our society today, and the numbers continue to rise over time. There are some lifestyle habits that are known to be a huge factor in your level of cancer risk, like sun exposure or smoking. But can we really keep cancer away simply by changing our lifestyle habits?
This is certainly a complicated question, and most cancer research shows that what is going on in our bodies at the cellular level play a huge factor in how high your risk of developing cancer will be. Other factors are key as well, such as age and random mutations.
Now, a recent study from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital is suggesting that lifestyle factors can prevent cancer. The researchers pooled data from two other long term, big scale health studies involving over 89,000 women and 46,000 men, as well as the U.S. national cancer statistics. Of these volunteers, some were considered at low risk for cancer and others were considered at high risk.
From the low risk group, the study ascertained that these volunteers followed 4 main healthy lifestyle habits:
1. No smoking (or very brief smoking in the past)
2. Normal bodyweight to slightly overweight – with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 27.5.
3. Vigorous aerobic exercise for at least 75 minutes a week or moderate exervise for at least 150 minutes a week.
4. Moderate to no alcohol consumption – 1 drink a day or less for women, and 2 drinks a day or less for men.
The scientists concluded that up to 40% of cancer cases and almost half of cancer deaths could have potentially be prevented if the lifestyle habits of the low risk group were followed by everyone.
According to Dr. Graham Colditz, chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis,