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Five Lifestyle Strategies to Reduce Cancer Risk

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

Statistics indicate that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Today’s cancer rates are daunting and provide motivation toward a healthier lifestyle to reduce cancer risk. What can you do? Learn about important steps to empower yourself with health promoting strategies. These self-care approaches support your optimal vitality, making you feel the best that you can be.

1. Diet
Good nutrition supports your entire body and even positively influences your genes. The foods you eat affect your potential for cancer. Some foods promote cancer cell growth and others kill cancer cells. Learning the differences between what to eat and what not to eat is essential to reducing cancer risk.

Top foods to reduce cancer risk include vegetables, fruits, garlic and onions, herbs and spices such as turmeric, mushrooms, whole grains, oils, nuts, and seeds, as well as fish without heavy metals. As you improve your diet, you will feel better and better through the support of healthy, anti-cancer foods.

As you add nutritious tasty bites, make sure that you eliminate dietary choices associated with health problems. Foods to moderate and even avoid because they are associated with health problems such as cancer include trans fats, saturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids, sugars, and animal meats.

2. Sleep
Sleep is the body’s natural resting state. Everyone needs sleep to rejuvenate and function optimally. Sleep is critical to parasympathetic nervous system function for repairing and restoring health. Rest rejuvenates body, mind, and spirit.

Abnormal sleep disrupts the circadian rhythms that control the body’s biological clock, biorhythms, and melatonin production. These rhythms control metabolism and cellular functions within 24-hour activity patterns. Ongoing, abnormal sleep patterns are associated with health problems such as cancer.

What constitutes optimal sleep? Research suggests that healthy adults need between 7 and 8 hours of quality sleep nightly. Some people need even more sleep.

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EmpowHER Guest

Sleep, Diet, Exercise, Avoid Injury (inflammation), Clean Environment are the recommendations to reduce cancer risk. Well, duh. I congratulate the survivor and her energy and ambition, but those five are pretty generic recommendations. I'm also a brain tumor survivor, only 7 years now, but mine was grade IV, with recurrence all but guaranteed. I've found that by smoking cannabis, I've been able to avoid seizures and recurrence. I'm also in the best physical condition of my athletic life at 59 years old. I walk 18 holes of golf over a hundred times a year, and play better than most amateurs. The side effect is the intoxication, which isn't enough to affect any of my functioning, including public address and game announcer at my local high school for football and basketball games. I have a good quality of life despite expectations being pretty dismal when I was diagnosed; GBM right temporal lobe, median life expectancy 16 months. I didn't consider awake surgery, did standard care at UCSF, and now collect disability. I'm impressed with your energy to do all your work, especially having endured two brain surgeries. I felt about 30 years older after my surgery and sleep more than I used to. Afternoon naps are common.

November 16, 2012 - 10:03am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.