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Posts Tagged ‘cancer screening’

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, yet about 40% of cancers are preventable. Earlier this year, President Biden named April National Cancer Control month. Prior to the release of his proclamation, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) had named February Cancer Prevention month. Regardless of the month, it is never a bad time to focus on cancer prevention! If you visit the AICR website, you can take an online pledge to learn about and lower your risk of cancer. The AICR recommends these healthy lifestyle behaviors to prevent cancer and promote overall health:

dumbbells and gym shoes
  1. Be a healthy weight.
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
  4. Limit consumption of “fast foods” and other processed foods that are high in fat, starches, or sugars.
  5. Limit consumption of red and processed meat.
  6. Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.
  7. Limit alcohol consumption.
  8. Do not use supplements for cancer prevention.
  9. Do not smoke and avoid exposure to tobacco.
  10. Avoid excess sun exposure.
  11. For mothers: breastfeed, if you can.
  12. After a cancer diagnosis: continue to follow these recommendations, if you can.
a bowl of fresh fruit

In addition to preventing cancer, following these recommendations is likely to reduce intakes of salt, saturated fats, and trans fats. Together, all of these healthy lifestyle behaviors will also help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. 

Not sure where to start? The AICR has an online, interactive cancer health check tool where you can identify what you are already doing to prevent cancer and what you could improve.

If you want to participate in a structured program to establish better eating and exercise habits to prevent cancer, the Healthy10 challenge is a 10-week program to help you put the AICR healthy lifestyle behaviors into practice.

a doctor holding a clipboard

In addition to healthy lifestyle behaviors, it is important to have recommended cancer screenings. When cancer does happen, early detection through effective screening can reduce the chance of significant harm or death. Be sure to talk with your doctor about recommended cancer screenings.

Written by Heather Hadam, Dietetic Intern, The Ohio State University and Jenny Lobb, MPH, RDN, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Franklin County.

Reviewed by Laura Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Warren County.

Sources:

American Institute for Cancer Research. https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/cancer-prevention-campaign

National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (2022). Screening Tests. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/screening/screening-tests

The White House (2022). A Proclamation on National Cancer Control Month, 2022. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/03/31/national-cancer-control-month-2022

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