Since 2000, World Cancer Day has been an annual occasion for us to reflect on current progress and future action needed for cancer prevention, detection and treatment. World Cancer Day 2014 statistics show that people who engage in risky but modifiable lifestyle behaviors — smoking, unhealthy alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and a poor diet — will be among the 25 million new annual cases.
Each one of these new cancer cases and cancer deaths has a personal story attached to it. Here is why this year’s World Cancer Day has special relevance and how cancer has affected my life.
In May 2013, representatives of 194 countries at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva approved a landmark resolution to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25 percent by 2025. NCDs, which include cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, are illnesses that are non-infectious, chronic and slow to progress.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Action Plan 2013-2020 encourages collaborative partnerships among government agencies, public-interest groups and the private sector to reach this ambitious outcome. Country representatives committed to track and report their progress — using 9 goals and 25 indicators — to create healthy food environments, promote physical activity and strengthen health systems. Continue reading
Evidence is clear that doing at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity lowers risk for type 2-diabetes. Now, one study shows that even light physical activity may provide some benefit for people at highest risk.
Type 2-diabetes increases risk for several cancers, including those of the liver, colon and endometrium. Both diseases share many risk factors, including insulin resistance.
The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, included 68 sedentary, overweight and obese adults with pre-diabetes. They were randomly assigned to two groups. Both groups attended two educational sessions at the beginning of the 3 month study, but only one group attended a supervised walking program – 60 minutes, 3 times per week. Continue reading
Last week, Colby wrote about trends in cancer research. Here, I’d like to weigh in on trends to lower cancer risk – not predictions, but habits I’d like to see everyone do and therefore become a top trend.
1. Track your health-related habits.
Tracking helps you be aware of what, how much and when you are eating or exercising. You can then identify what changes you want to make and what would be realistic.
Use whatever method works best for you. Try paper and pencil – get a small notebook that fits in your briefcase, purse or pocket. After each meal or snack, write down everything you eat and, depending on your goal, how much you ate. There are also many phone apps or online programs that calculate calories, nutrients or other analyses. Continue reading