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New Year’s Resolutions- January Cancer Demystified

January marks the month when we all make New Year’s resolutions. At the top of everyone’s list of resolutions should be cancer prevention.

Many resources for cancer prevention tips seem to contradict themselves.  Every day we hear of something different that might cause cancer.  Cancer prevention is definitely a work in progress, but a few tried and true lifestyle changes can make a huge difference, not only in preventing cancer but also in improving overall health.

First, and foremost, don’t smoke or use any form of tobacco, including chewing tobacco.  According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths.

Second, lose weight.  Decreasing your weight not only will help you feel better but also likely decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, and joint pain.

A third important step that should be on everyone’s list is to exercise daily.  Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise beyond usual activities five or more days a week.

Eating a balanced diet is also essential for cancer prevention.  Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet, watch the calorie contents of your foods, and avoid red meats and refined grains and sugars. For a list of the top 10 cancer fighting foods, go to www.fsro.net.

Finally, schedule your cancer prevention screenings for the year. The American Cancer Society website www.cancer.org lists the cancer screening guidelines for all types of cancers. 

Posted In: Cancer Demystified by Dr. Kris Gast
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