One Easy Pack for Breast Cancer Prevention

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To support October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, AICR has just introduced “The AICR Breast Cancer Prevention Pack.” These science-based materials provide easy-to-read and practical ideas to help women prevent breast cancer through basic lifestyle changes.

If you’re looking for materials for a health fair – in October, or any month – this pack is a perfect way to reach women of all ages.

The brochures and health aids in the packet include:

1. “Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer” – an overview of breast cancer prevention

2. “The Facts about Alcohol” – information on how alcohol affects breast cancer risk

3. “The New American Plate” – AICR’s popular guide, with recipes, for eating for a healthy weight

4. “AICR Guidelines Magnet” – developed to help women remember their daily physical activity

5. “BSE Shower Card – A waterproof “how to” and monthly reminder for breast self-exams

Let us know what kind of health fair or event your organization is planning this fall!

Healthier Living: Living Longer

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Eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. Add exercising and it’s even healthier. Combine a healthy weight to the mix and the risk of an early death continues to decrease.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but the findings of a new study showing how healthy lifestyle patterns may reduce the risk of an early death are striking.

The study is published in the journal PLoS Medicine and here is the abstract.

The authors used data from about 71,000 Chinese women who are part the Shanghai Women’s Healthy Study. The women never smoked or drank alcohol regularly.

Researchers gave one point for each of five health factors: being a normal weight; lower waist-hip ratio (an estimate of abdominal fat); regular exercise; never exposed to spouse’s smoking; and relatively high fruit and vegetable daily intake. Scores ranged from 0 points (having no health factors) to 5 points (having all health factors).

After an average of 9 years, the researchers found that the higher the healthy lifestyle score, the lower the risk of death from all causes, as well as from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, specifically. This finding held true regardless of whether the women started out with a disease.

Women with 4 to 5 healthy lifestyle factors had a 43 percent lower risk of death overall during the course of the study compared to women with a score of zero: Specifically, heart disease mortality was reduced by 71 percent and cancer mortality by 24 percent.

When it comes to cancer incidence, the AICR’s 2009 policy report found almost a quarter of all the cancer cases in the United States are preventable through healthy lifestyle habits.

Want to see how you rate when it comes to healthy habits? Take our quiz on diet and physical activity.

Physical Activity Keeps You Feeling Better

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If you’re visiting this blog, you likely know that getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can lower your risk for cancer. But did you know about the emotional benefits that being active brings?

Getting up and moving also helps you blow off steam and manage stress, helps stave off depression, raises your self-esteem, boosts your energy, and helps you sleep better.

You’ll feel good, too: When we’re active, our brain releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers.  Getting your blood moving helps improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs, and that’s a change you’ll feel every time you climb a set of stairs.

New guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine urge cancer survivors, even those undergoing treatment, to get active. Research suggests that exercise can help survivors have more energy, improve their quality of life, and reduce risk of recurrence.

For ideas on how to build exercise into your day, take a look at AICR’s brochure “Moving More.”