Nutrition plays a key role in
cancer prevention.  Diet and nutrition
could be the cause of at least 30% of cancer cases, putting diet in second
place next to smoking as preventable causes of cancer [1].  This one is quite an eye opener, who thought
30% of all cancers could have been prevented with proper nutrition?

According to current research,
numerous types of cancer can be prevented by adopting a healthy diet.  For starters, over weight and obesity have
been strongly linked to esophagus, colorectum, breast in postmenopausal women,
endometrial and kidney cancer [2].  Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk
of oral, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver and breast cancer while exposure to
aflatoxin causes liver cancer and Chinese-style salted fish has been link to
nasopharyx cancer [2].   Additionally, preserved and red meat may
increase the risk of colorectal cancer while salty foods could increase the
risk of stomach cancer.  On a happier
note, some evidence shows that fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of
oral cavity, esophagus, stomach and colorectal cancers and physical activity
may decrease the risk of breast and colon cancer [2].  Taking appropriate steps to a healthier diet
and lifestyle could reduce an individual’s risk of multiple cancers
dramatically.

In an attempt to decrease cancer
incidences the American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes an updated list of
guidelines every 5 years.  According to
the latest guidelines the ACS encourages people to maintain a healthy weight;
in other words their body-mass index should be between 18.5 and 24.9 [1].  The ACS also advocates eating 5 or more
serving fruits and vegetables on a daily basis in addition to whole grains and
limiting consumption of processed meat, red meat and alcohol [1].  These changes are possible by taking one
small step at a time.  You will feel
better and be healthier while decreasing your risk of cancer, diabetes, and
heart disease.  What more could you ask
for?  Go Nutrition!

 

References

1.            Kushi, L.H., et al., American Cancer Society Guidelines on
Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Reducing the Risk of
Cancer With Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity.
CA A Cancer Journal
for Clinicians, 2006. 56(5): p.
254-281.

2.            Key,
T., et al., Diet, nutrition and the
prevention of cancer.
Public Health Nutrition, 2007. 7(1a): p. 187-200.

 

Pin It on Pinterest