Busting the Myths
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is regarded by experts as the most preventable—but least prevented—cancer. However, it is not the only preventable cancer. Lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, level of physical activity, body fat percentage and regular screening can drastically reduce the risk of developing various types of cancers. According to experts, about 1/3 of the most common cancers in the United States could be prevented by following basic recommendations.
The American Institute for Cancer Research states that 375,000 cancer cases could be prevented every year. To prevent cancer, DO something:
• Eat well
• Move more
• Stay lean
• Use sunscreen
…and, of course, do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Don’t be Myth-Informed!
People can’t do anything to change their risk of getting cancer. One in five Americans believes this.
· Only 58% of Americans know that diet affects cancer risk
· Only 41% of Americans know that being active affects cancer risk
· Only 39% of Americans know that body weight affects cancer risk
Recommendations for Cancer Prevention
• Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
• Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Limit sedentary habits.
• Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
• Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
• Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
• If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day.
• Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
• Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
• It is best for mothers* to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods.
• After treatment, cancer survivors* should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
*Special Population Recommendations