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Health & Fitness

West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes

1/9/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Most popular New Year’s resolutions also reduce cancer risk

GREATER AKRON — The American Cancer Society (ACS) stated recently that five of the 13 most popular New Year’s resolutions according to www.usa.gov are known to reduce cancer risk.

In addition, a sixth — volunteering — can help people fight and prevent cancer if they volunteer with the ACS, according to organization officials.

The resolutions with known benefits to help prevent or reduce cancer risk are drink less alcohol, eat healthy food, get fit, lose weight and quit smoking, according to ACS officials (the remaining seven are get a better education; get a better job; manage debt; manage stress; reduce, reuse, recycle; save money; and take a trip).

More than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented by making healthy choices such as not smoking, being a healthy weight, eating right, keeping active and getting recommended screening tests, according to ACS officials. The ACS recommends: get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout life; be physically active on a regular basis; and make healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.

“We know that consuming less high-calorie foods, making healthy food choices and exercising will work to reduce cancer risk,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the ACS.

Each year, more than 572,000 Americans die of cancer; about one-third of these deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and carrying too much weight, according to ACS officials.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast (in women past menopause), colon and rectum, endometrium (the lining of the uterus), esophagus, pancreas and kidney cancers, among others. One of the main ways that excess weight increases cancer risk is that it causes the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. In the U.S., excess body weight is thought to contribute to as many as one out of five cancer-related deaths.

Routinely having more than one or two drinks per day could raise the risk of cancers of the mouth and throat, liver, colon and breast. The ACS recommends limiting alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two for men. Compared to nondrinkers, there is a 10 percent to 12 percent higher risk of female breast cancer associated with each drink per day. When people drink and use tobacco, there is an even greater risk for mouth, larynx and esophageal cancers.

For tips and resources on staying healthy and diet and exercise guidelines, as well as quitting smoking, see www.cancer.org/healthy. To volunteer with the ACS, go to www.cancer.org/involved.


Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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