Over 1.5 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2011, and more than 570,000 people in the U.S. will die from cancer this year. But according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one-third of all cancers cases could be prevented.
Don’t Use Tobacco
The single greatest cause of cancers that could be prevented is tobacco. Smoking, chewing and other uses of tobacco cause approximately 22 percent of all cancer deaths each year. Smoking can cause cancers of the lung, esophagus (throat), voice box, mouth, kidney, bladder, and more.
You don’t even have to be the one smoking to get cancer from tobacco. Second hand smoke is also a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance). Chewing tobacco is not safe either. It is known to cause oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancer. To lower your risk of cancer, do not use tobacco products. (WHO)
Drinking alcohol adds to your risk of getting mouth, voice box, or throat cancer. Drinking 50 grams of alcohol a day can increase your cancer risk by 2 to 3 times. A standard drink is just less than 14 grams of pure alcohol, so 50 grams is approximately equal to three and a half standard-size drinks. The more alcohol you drink, the faster your cancer risk increases. Help prevent these cancers by avoiding alcohol. (CDC)
Watch Your Body Weight and Activity Level
The second greatest risk factor for developing cancer is not living a healthy lifestyle. Being obese, not being active, and having poor nutrition all create an increased risk for cancer. Overweight and obese are defined by calculations using height and weight which is known as the Body Mass Index or BMI.
Enter your numbers into this BMI calculator to find your number. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25-29.9. Obese is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
Being overweight or obese accounts for 14 to 20 percent of all cancer-related deaths in the United States. Cancers related to excessive weight include breast, colon, throat, and kidney cancer.