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Five Lifestyle Strategies to Reduce Cancer Risk

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

A chronic state of inflammation causes a confused immune response. The result is an environment that initiates and fuels cancer.

Low inflammatory levels reduce cancer risk while high inflammatory levels increase cancer risk. Inflammatory offenders should be avoided such as smoking, alcohol, pollution, not enough sleep, unhealthy foods, too much weight, and stress. Many healthy foods and supplements also provide anti-inflammatory support.

5. Clean Environment
In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel published a report called Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, emphasizing failed attention and regulations to environmental contaminants as well as massive neglect for addressing cancer prevention and cancer control through environmental causes of cancer. The report said, “The true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread.”

What can you do to reduce environmental contaminants? With thousands of chemicals on the market today, many steps must be taken to eliminate exposures. Use clean products for personal care, household cleaning, water and air purification, as well as other everyday products.

Although cancer prevention is not a guarantee, incorporating these lifestyle strategies will support reducing your cancer risk. Remember, these self-care approaches will make you feel better too.

Jeannine Walston is co-founder and Executive Director of EmbodiWorks at www.embodiworks.org, a non-profit organization that provides integrative cancer care education and advocacy supporting whole person health and healing to reduce cancer risk, improve cancer related survival, and quality of life.

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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.