Share Your “Never Too Late” Successes — and Challenges

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We’re pleased to announce AICR’s It’s Never Too Late to Lower Your Risk awareness campaign.

Although you can’t control aging – which is the number one risk factor for cancer – the good news is you can make small, everyday changes to prevent or delay cancer at any age.  On our Never Too Late web section, folks age 50 and over will find many ideas, strategies and tips designed specifically to help them take important, but achievable, steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

You will probably begin to feel better as you begin to make diet and physical activity changes, too.  Many people report having more energy, sleeping better and managing stress more effectively – a win-win situation as you lower your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

But maintaining these changes can be challenging.  Support and new ideas are crucial in maintaining your good work or for getting back on track.

This is where you can share your successes and challenges, offer encouragement and connect to others working toward the same goal.  Use the comment section below to let us know what you’re doing, how you’re progressing, what the challenges are and how you’re overcoming those obstacles.

Low Impact Activity – High Impact on Cancer Survivorship

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We’ve known about the importance of physical activity in lowering risk for several cancers – in fact, AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily, working up to 60 minutes for more protection.

But now there are physical activity recommendations for cancer survivors as well – to improve well-being and perhaps lower the risk of recurrence.  You can read more about the published report and the recommendations for breast cancer survivors here.  The bottom line is that patients and survivors should avoid inactivity.

Getting active may seem more difficult if you experience joint pain, but fortunately it is possible to achieve your minimum 30 minutes of physical activity with low impact activities.  Our Coach’s Corner article in this week’s eNews discusses low impact activities and offers some specific things you can do without putting more stress on your joints.

Low impact doesn’t mean you aren’t working hard.  It just refers to the impact your movements have on your joints.  You’ll still work up a sweat and get your heart rate up and experience the benefits of physical activity.

For more information on getting started, check out AICR’s newest brochure Start Where You Are.

Is there a Diabetes-Cancer Connection?

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Research shows that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. In fact, diabetes is linked to 3 of the 5 leading causes of cancer mortality in the United States.  Scientists and health professionals now understand that diabetes care must also include attention to cancer risk.

AICR has just released a new background paper “The Diabetes-Cancer Connection.”  It details research of the risk of diabetes and cancer and discusses steps to prevent both conditions as well as specific strategies for lifestyle changes.

Here is a brief summary of what you can do to lower risk for both diseases:

1.            Get to and maintain  a healthy weight.  For people with pre-diabetes, a 7% weight loss has been shown to reduce risk of diabetes.

2.            Participate in regular physical activity:

o   A sedentary lifestyle contributes to risk of type 2 diabetes and for those with the disease, regular moderate exercise (30 minutes at least 5 times weekly) improves blood sugar control.

o   For cancer risk, engage in at least 30 minutes (with the goal of 60 minutes) of moderate physical activity daily to lower risk of several cancers, including colorectal, endometrial and postmenopausal breast.

3.            Healthy diet

o   Eat a mostly plant-based diet for high fiber and a wide range of nutrients and phytochemicals

o   Select appropriate balance of healthy fats and a diet lower in energy density

o   Choose appropriate serving sizes and limit red and processed meat consumption

o   If you drink alcohol, limit to 1 drink per day for women, 2 for men.

If you are a health professional, you can read the full AICR InDepth by Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, by joining the Health Professionals and Educators eCommunity here.