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Monday, September 22, 2014

We can reduce cancer deaths by eating healthy - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

 Eat healthy to reduce cancer - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

A report released by The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has suggested that a vast number of deaths could be prevented with the most basic lifestyle changes. Simply halting activities such as smoking could save as many as 200,000 lives. Without such measures however, the AACR predicts that in the year 2015, 585,000 people will die from some form of the disease.
The report was released earlier this week, it demonstrates that one-third the cancer deaths expected to occur next year will be caused by smoking tobacco. Campaigns to warn people about the dangers of smoking have not been as successful in stopping  as many as 800,000 American citizens starting smoking every year. The report states that almost 70 million Americans smoke or use tobacco products on a regular basis.

Another big factor is obesity, according to the AACR report, this will account for another third of the cancer deaths next year, or approximately 200,000 people. There are seven different types of the disease that have been directly linked to being overweight or obese. What is defined as a “healthy bodyweight” of a Body Mass Index (BMI) score of between 18.5 and 24.5 for adults over the age of 20 years old will lower the risk of developing cancer according to the AACR report. Currently in the United States, 72 million citizens are considered to be clinically obese.

Inactivity is linked to a higher risk of cancer regardless of bodyweight, but the two factors tend to correlate with one another in most cases. Obese and overweight individuals can benefit immensely from moving more, however it is clear that exercise is a prudent measure to take for any person. Bad dietary habits also play into the accumulation of excess bodyweight, but have been listed as something that can increase any persons risk of developing the disease.

Eating what is considered to be a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables with a moderate amount of heart-healthy fats and carbohydrates is recommended as an effective way to decease the risk of developing cancer. The AACR report also points out that increasing exercise and eating well will lower an individuals risk factor for about every other form of disease.

Skin cancer is described in the report as a preventable form of the disease if the necessary safety measures are taken. Wearing sunscreen and covering bare skin in the height of the day are two measures which have been described as beneficial for skin health. Earlier this year the Surgeon General addressed the continued use of tanning beds despite numerous warnings from health officials that these devices should be avoided. Tighter regulations on tanning bed use would considerably lower the incidence of deaths from skin cancer according to the AACR.

Viral infections were also discussed in the report and listed as the cause of a substantial number of cancer deaths each year. Hepatitis B and C as well as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are cancer-associated pathogens that should be screened for and when possible, vaccinated against.
The report outlined in detail the areas where individuals can make changes to reduce their cancer risk. It estimated that a half of the deaths from cancer in the United States could be avoided if these preventative measures are taken. What are considered to be simple lifestyle changes, eating well and exercising moderately, could be very effective in saving lives.


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