Some researchers estimate that more than 4 out of every 10 cases of cancer could be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a healthy diet. At our Arizona cancer center, our integrative treatment methods include making these changes to help prevent the disease from recurring.
We believe cancer is an environmental disease and that our patients are key players in preventing it. A century ago, cancer was relatively rare. But in the past 100 years, our diets have changed, the amount of chemicals surrounding us on a daily basis has increased exponentially, and we’ve become a sedentary society. All of us have significant control over those factors.
Some of the most common steps to help prevent cancer include:
- Avoiding certain foods (something that we recently highlighted on our blog) and eating a vitamin- and antioxidant-rich diet
- Reducing chemicals in your environment, such as in pesticides and plastics
- Leading an active lifestyle
- Talking to your doctor about any personal risk factors
One of the best ways to succeed in reaching any goal to change your lifestyle is to take incremental steps. If meat is part of your diet on virtually a daily basis, it’s wiser to gradually curtail the number of meals in which it’s included, rather than vow to simply “stop eating meat.” Likewise, someone who currently leads a primarily sedentary lifestyle can start by walking after dinner and then increase the distance.
It’s more likely a person will stick to a commitment by starting small and, ultimately, will reap long-lasting health benefits.