Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

August 14, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, my family tree has been “pruned” by cancer. Are there any ways that I can reduce the risk of cancer?

A: The good news is that cancer Women celebrating ways to reduce risk of getting cancer.treatments are improving every year. However, in 2019, 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. The August edition of the Parade magazine insert in our Sunday newspapers offers these tips to reduce the risk of cancer:

ADD CANCER-FIGHTING FOODS TO YOUR DIET – “’This means avoiding highly-processed, high-fat and high-sugar foods. Shift as much as possible to a plant-based diet, and prioritize fish over other animal protein,’ according to S. Adam Ramin, MD, medical director of the Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angles. Other recommended foods for “potential anti-cancer properties include nuts, garlic, turmeric, berries, green tea, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.”

STAY AWAY FROM SECONDHAND SMOKE – “Simply breathing in someone else’s smoke is almost as bad as smoking yourself, says William Li, MD, author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science on How the Body Can Heal Itself.”

GRILL MEATS WITH CAUTION – “’Cooking red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood above 300 degrees Fahrenheit can produce carcinogens, or substances capable of causing cancer,’ says Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietician at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Instead, she suggests, ‘Precook your meats in the oven, or on the stovetop, then finish them off on the grill; grill animal proteins on lower heat and for a longer time; and marinate the meats in an acidic base like vinegar or citrus juice.’ Another suggestion is to include rosemary, ‘Studies show that including this ingredient in a marinade can reduce chemicals produced when grilling by over 90 percent.’”

WEAR SUNSCREEN DAILY – “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. (1 in 5 Americans will develop it by age 70.) It is also one of the most preventable types. Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher every day, will help reduce the risk of cancer even if you will not be outside for more than a few minutes, advises Annemarie Fogerty, MD, a hematologist and oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.”

DON’T GAIN ANOTHER POUND – “Obesity is linked to increased risk of a dozen types of cancer…. ‘Even if you never lose a pound, stabilizing your weigh where it is and preventing further weight gain is important for health,’ says Suzanne Dixon, a registered dietitian and epidemiologist.”

BE SMART ABOUT DRINKING – “’Alcohol is an established risk factor for cancer,’ says Niyati Parekh, PhD, director of public health nutrition at NYU College of Global Public Health. While moderate consumption does have protective effects for the heart, even small amounts of alcohol consumed regularly increase the risk for certain cancers, particularly breast cancer. If reducing the risk of cancer is your primary concern, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends abstaining altogether. At the least, cap it daily at one standard drink (12 oz. regular beer, 5 oz. Wine, 1.5 oz. liquor) for women and two for men.”

MAKE SURE YOU’RE UP TO DATE ON YOUR SCREENINGS – “If not, hop on the phone and schedule them. ‘Early detection is the key,’ says Kevin J. Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Go to screenings for a list of the ACS guidelines.”

I hope these suggestions will help you avoid having to deal with cancer.