Many people think that whether or not you get cancer is just luck of the draw. Or, that your chances are determined by genes you inherit from your parents.
While there is some randomness to who develops cancer, and genes are important, a new awareness survey suggests most people don’t know about lifestyle and health characteristics that affect your risk for cancer. Several of these can be reversed.
We’ve known for many years that being overweight or obese increases risk for several types of cancer, including cancers of the colon, rectum, endometrium, liver, kidney, breast (in postmenopausal women), gallbladder, pancreas, and some parts of the stomach, ovary, and esophagus. Obesity also increases risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, the most dangerous stage of this cancer. Some newer studies suggest that obesity also increases risk for thyroid cancer and for some cancers of the blood, lymph, and nervous systems. Read more… “Will losing weight lower your cancer risk? It can.”
Among kids, teens and young adults, private insurance claims for type 2 diabetes more than doubled from 2011 to 2015, according to a new paper from an organization that analyzes healthcare costs and insurance. Obesity claims also increased during this same time period.
The report from FAIR Health adds to the concerning data on obesity and diabetes among youth. While obesity among children has leveled off in recent years, the increase over the past several decades now means more than one in three children and adolescents are overweight or obese.
We do know enough now to make eating choices that lower our risk of cancer. In fact, we know that for people with typical American diets, waiting for more information before making any changes is increasing their risk of cancer.
It’s true that research on diet to lower cancer risk is a hot area with many questions still to be answered. That’s why it’s important when making changes to make your decisions on guidelines based on the overall body of research. Trying to act on each new study that makes headlines can make you feel like you’ve got whiplash… not a wise approach.