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This year, why not be resolute about improving your health? Try these ten tips to get your New Year off to a great start and lower your cancer risk.
10. Trim your waistline: Dr. Anna E. Prizment, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center found that belly fat appears to be a “useful indicator of higher colon cancer mortality.”
In analyzing data from the Iowa Women’s Health Study in 2010, Dr. Prizment discovered women with high waist-to-hip ratios had a 30 to 40 percent greater risk of colon cancer-related death.
9. Cut Saturated Fats: Lighten up your diet by eliminating saturated and trans fats and use olive oil instead. Extra virgin olive oil is perhaps the healthiest type of fat.
It's high in phytochemical antioxidants (non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties) and vitamin E. Olive oil may even help prevent breast and colon cancers.
8. Spice it up: Hot peppers containing capsaicin are known fat-busters that help suppress the appetite and speed up metabolism to burn extra calories. Capsaicin also has an anti-cancer effect, blocking cancer and slowing tumor growth.
7. Get Screened: Regular screening and self-examination may not prevent cancer, but it can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful. Screening should include your skin, mouth, colon and rectum.
If you're a man, include your prostate and testes. If you're a woman, add cervical and breast cancer screening to your list. Be your own best advocate by being aware of changes in your body — and if you notice any changes, see your doctor immediately.
6. Improve your sleep habits: Many health problems have been linked to a lack of sleep and even short periods of sleep deprivation can promote glucose intolerance, cause imbalances in hormones and raise blood pressure.
While the lack of sleep has not been firmly established to increase one’s cancer risk, some top researchers believe it's certainly a possibility.