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December 12, 2023 • Cancer Prevention

The Top 4 Things to Lower Your Cancer Risk

elderly woman

One of the most spectacular scientific advancements of the past 2 decades has been the realization that we have enormous personal power and control over whether or not we will develop chronic disease.  Thankfully, cancer is no exception to this awesome biological reality.

Based on the latest evidence, about 60% of all cancers could be prevented through diet and healthy lifestyles.

Here are the four most effective ways to lower your cancer risk:

1.  Strictly avoid all forms of tobacco exposure.  Tobacco use remains the single greatest cause of preventable cancer.

2.  Maintain an optimal weight (BMI <25; waist size <32.5” for females; <36” for males) throughout your life.  Assuming you are a non-smoker, this is the single most powerful means to lower your cancer risk.  Overweight/obesity is a significant risk factor for many forms of cancer.  BMI, weight gain after age 20, and belly size are the relevant aspects here.

  • Exercise daily the rest of your life
  • Consume the right foods and avoid the wrong foods
  • Eat mindfully – become a “defensive” eater
  • Control your portions

3.  Be physically active/exercise regularly the rest of your life. Regular physical activity reduces cancer risk through several powerful and synergistic mechanisms.

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity daily.
  • Optimal – 60 minutes or more of moderate activity daily or 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity daily.
  • Always check with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.

4.  Get Real!  Limit consumption of energy dense, processed foods, especially fast foods, sugary beverages, and junk foods.  These foods are those most adept at causing weight gain.