Q: I’m following a heart-healthy diet. How can I adapt that for cancer prevention?
A: Eating for heart health and cancer prevention aren’t as different as you may think. We used to think about heart disease and cancer as having separate risk factors, but now we know that just as tobacco increases risk of both, eating and physical activity habits also affect risk of both.
Parents are key when it comes to shaping children’s diet and physical activity. Moms and dads not only model eating, exercise and other health habits, they are also the gatekeepers for what food is served at home and what sports or other activities are available to the family. These influences likely have a profound effect on a child’s weight and therefore their weight as an adult. And kids who grow into adults with obesity are then at a higher risk for many cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and liver.
Globally, cancer is a leading cause of death and the statistics are sobering. Worldwide cases of cancer are predicted to reach 21.7 million by 2030.
Today on World Cancer Day – and throughout Cancer Prevention Month – one big theme is about getting individuals to play a more active role in reducing their cancer risk. Being active is an important way to do that, and that’s the theme for World Cancer Day.
You surely know that exercise is good for you, but what most Americans don’t know is that being active actually decreases your cancer risk.
Our 8th Cancer Awareness Survey, released this week, showed that only 39 percent of Americans know that inactivity relates to cancer risk. And it does.