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Take Charge! Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Take Charge! Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Cancer is a disease that starts in the cells of your body.
How does it occur?

It occurs when your genes – which instruct your cells regarding growth – get mixed up and cause those cells to behave in an abnormal way, invading surrounding tissues and organs.1 

ACTIVITY BYTES

Kids and teens should aim for 90 minutes more per day of physical play activities, and 90 minutes less in front of a computer or tv.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates, based on current research and data, that 39% of Canadian women and 44% of Canadian men will develop cancer during their lifetimes.1

And cancer is now the leading cause of early death in Canada.1

Some alarming statistics to be sure.

But there is some good news! According to the Canadian Cancer Society, at least half of all cancers can be reduced based on lifestyle practices that can protect your health.1

Here are the top 7 things you can do to reduce your risk:

1. Squash Smoke Exposure

The single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer is to choose not to smoke, and to avoid second hand smoke. Smoke exposure increases the risk of lung cancer, as well many others cancers 1. For more information visit Health Canada’s Quit 4 Life website.

2. Boost Your Nutrition!

Did you know that up to one-third of all cancers are directly influenced by what we eat and drink? 1 The 5 most important nutrition strategies to reduce your risk of cancer are…

a. Eat more fruits, veggies and plant based foods
b. Boost your intake of high-fibre foods
c. Eat the right types of fat
d. Limit alcohol consumption
e. Boost your vitamin D intake

For more detailed information on these 5 strategies visit our article “Nutrition for Cancer Prevention”.

3. Be Sun Savvy

Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing that can lessen your exposure to the suns damaging ultraviolet rays is a significant way to protect against skin cancer, the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer in Canada.1 For more information on protecting your skin visit www.skincancer.org.

4. Manage a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing cancers of the breast, colon, endometrium (uterus), esophagus and kidney among others. To learn about the best way to manage a healthy weight visit our article “Weight Loss Wisdom.”

5. Get Moving!

Getting enough physical activity is a great way to boost mood, keep your heart, lungs and bones strong, help you manage a healthy weight and reduce your risk of cancer, especially breast and colon cancer. The amount of physical activity suggested for cancer reduction is:

Adults: At least 30, and preferably up to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, above usual activities, on 5 or more days of the week.2

Children and adolescents: At least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.2

6. Visit Your Doctor Regularly

Cancer can strike at any age and may affect even people with healthy lifestyles. Visit your doctor regularly for annual check-ups as well as if you notice unusual changes in your body. It is also important to discuss screening for cancer with your doctor. For women this could be mammography, Pap tests, breast exams and colon/rectal exams.1 For men this could be testicular exams, prostate screening and colon/rectal exams.1

7. Use Safety When Handling Hazardous Materials

Follow health and safety instructions when handling, storing, and disposing of hazardous materials both at work and at home. Health Canada and Environment Canada place guidelines on labels of hazardous products, so be sure to check these out.

Looking for More Information?
Canadian Cancer Society www.cancer.ca 
American Cancer Society www.cancer.org 
Health Canada’s “Quit 4 Life” smoking cessation website

References:
Canadian Cancer Society www.cancer.ca 
CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Cancer With Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity.2006;56;254-281
World Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspectivewww.dietandcancerreport.org