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What Choices Protect Against Cancer?
Cancer refers to a large number of diseases categorized by unregulated replication of cells. This may result in cancers that may affect many different body systems.
When it comes to cancer there are no guarantees. However, there are choices you can make that may reduce your risks.
Ask your doctor about the following:
- Focus on fiber: Eat foods rich in fiber, especially those made with whole grains, to help reduce the risk of several cancers.
- Find healthy fats: Meals containing olive oil or fish help protect against cancer, and avoiding fat from meat (especially processed and very well done meat), dairy, and processed foods may decrease cancer risk.
- Go vegetarian: Lower cancer risk by eating plenty of fruits, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables (especially tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage), which help to optimize body weight, immune function, and hormone regulation, and to avoid meat-related carcinogens.
- Avoid alcohol: Use alcoholic beverages in moderation or not at all to reduce the risk of many cancers.
- Get regular checkups: Many cancers can be prevented or discovered in the early stages with screening tests available through your doctor.
Some body systems are more commonly affected and have been more closely studied: breast, prostate, colon, and lung. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
A healthy lifestyle offers protection now. What changes can you make to reduce your breast cancer risk or ease your treatment?
- Get a checkup: See your healthcare professional once a year for a breast exam and mammogram to detect disease before it becomes advanced.
- Cut back on cocktails, but not on nutrition: Limit your
alcohol consumption and take a multivitamin containing folic acid.
- Eat risk-reducing foods: Add plenty of fiber, tomato products, soy products, and fish to your diet.
- Seek support: If you have breast cancer, join a weekly patientsí group for social support.
Gain added protection against prostate cancer by living a healthy lifestyle and by learning more about the causes of this common disease:
- Eat risk-reducing foods: Add plenty of tomato, soy, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), and fish to your meals.
- Take time for a checkup: See your doctor once a year for a prostate exam that can help detect disease before it becomes advanced.
- Try lycopene: 4 mg twice per day for a year has been has been shown to improve precancerous conditions in at-risk people.
Studies show that diet and lifestyle changes may reduce risk of getting this cancer.
- Eat risk-reducing foods: Load up on healthy portions of
fiber, tomato products, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage,
Brussels sprouts), garlic, and onions, and eat less meat.
for green tea: Drink several cups of green tea a day to benefit
from the protective polyphenols found in tea leaves.
Love those lungs by protecting them from this relatively common cancer.
- Fill up on fruits and veggies: Lower your risk of lung cancer
by eating more foods high in anticancer substances, such as flavonoids,
- Choose your meat and fish carefully: Eat more healthy fish to lower your risk, and avoid fried, fatty, or well-done meat to avoid meat-related carcinogens.
- Say good-bye to smoking: Kick the habit for good and steer clear of secondhand smoke, as they are leading causes of lung cancer.
This Useful Information
Q: Do You Have Any Cancer-Prevention
A: Gone are the days of the guilt-free barbeque, and for good reason:
meat (including chicken and fish) exposed to high-temperature cooking
conditions form a host of carcinogenic by-products called heterocyclic
aromatic amines, or HAs. Studies have linked increased HA consumption
with greater risks of several types of cancer, including colorectal,
pancreatic, and breast cancer. Because of this, health experts recommend
limiting foods with high HA levels. Grilling (or barbequing), broiling,
and pan frying cause more HAs to form; however, there are, fortunately
for meat lovers, plenty of healthy prepping and cooking options:
- Marinate: Marinating meat has been shown to decrease
HA production. Experiment with mixtures of vinegar, vegetable oils,
and herbs. Try one made with your favorite beer.
- Cool it down: Use lower temperatures for cooking meats
(300° to 325°F) and cook further away from the heat source
(that is, not over an open flame or in direct contact with the
pan). Reduce the amount of HAs in food by upping the moisture content
of the meat. Use oil or water to minimize contact with the cooking
- Choose your method wisely: Opt for cooking methods that
reduce HA formation. Stewing, simmering, and braising are the best
choices; roasting and baking are also good. Boiling or steaming
are good options, as with chicken soup or fish wrapped in foil.
- Don’t overcook: Avoid eating char-broiled meat,
chicken, or fish. If you grill, consider partially cooking your
pre-marinaded meat in the microwave and finishing it on the grill.
- Cut off the bad bits: Remove the browned or blackened
portions of meat and chicken, as this is where these toxic compounds
reside in greatest quantity.
- Go veggie: It is the chemical reactions between animal
protein and heat that cause HAs to form upon cooking. Vegetables
don’t share this trait, though, so grill them up and enjoy
This Useful Information
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The information above is provided solely to aid
consumers in discussing nutrition and supplementation with their
healthcare providers. It is not advised nor is this information
intended to advocate, promote, or encourage self-use of this information
for cancer risk reduction.
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