Lifestyle Choices That Could Lower the Risk of All Cancers

7 hacks blog

A recent comprehensive study conducted by Newcastle University, involving over 90,000 British adults, has unveiled seven key lifestyle adjustments that can significantly diminish the risk of cancer. The study, published in BMC Medicine, focused on the correlation between adherence to specific guidelines and cancer risk, utilizing data from participants aged around 56. The subjects were evaluated based on their adherence to the 2018 guidelines from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Utilizing self-reported dietary and physical activity data, along with participants' BMI and waist measurements, researchers scored adherence on a scale of seven. Those with a score of 4.5 points or above exhibited a 16% lower risk of all cancers combined compared to those with scores of 3.5 points or less. Additionally, each one-point increase in the adherence score correlated with a 10% lower risk of breast cancer, a 10% lower risk of colorectal cancer, and various other substantial risk reductions for different cancer types.

Dr. Fiona Malcolmson, a Lecturer in Human Nutrition at Newcastle University, emphasized the significance of the study's findings. She stated, "Our study suggests that following the WCRF/AICR lifestyle-based Cancer Prevention Recommendations is associated with lowering our risk of cancer, especially for prevalent cancers such as breast and bowel cancer."

The study distilled these findings into seven practical tips for individuals looking to reduce their cancer risk:

  1. **Maintain a Healthy Weight:**

   - Staying within a healthy weight range can protect against up to 13 types of cancer, as obesity increases the likelihood of cancer cell development. Portion control is recommended as a starting point.

  1. **Stay Physically Active:**

   - Incorporating regular physical activity into daily routines significantly reduces the risk of developing bowel, breast, and womb cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

  1. **Eat a Better Diet:**

   - Make whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and pulses a major part of your daily diet, with lean meat, poultry, or fish as supplementary components.

  1. **Ditch the Fast Food:**

   - Minimize consumption of high-fat, starchy, and sugary fast foods, as they are linked to an increased risk of cancer.

  1. **Avoid Highly Processed Meat:**

   - Processed meat, especially for bowel cancer, should be avoided. Limit red meat intake to three portions per week.

  1. **No Sugary Drinks:**

   - Sugary drinks contribute to cancer-causing weight gain. Opt for water, tea, coffee, or limited servings of fruit juice as alternatives.

  1. **Keep Alcohol Consumption to a Minimum:**

   - Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of various cancers. It's advised to follow NHS guidelines, limiting alcohol intake to no more than 14 units per week, spread across three days or more.

The good news is that these are all simple steps that anyone can follow - and I remember the 80/20 rule I learned as part of my nutritional healing training ; as long as you follow the guidelines 80% of the time - the remaining 20% you can enjoy a treat - in moderation! I've just had a very indulgent weekend, good times with friends and family, excellent food, plenty of wine and cocktails. It was lush and I enjoyed it all with no guilt, and tomorrow I start a new week, being mindful of these very easy guidelines.

Avoiding recurrence is a key pillar of Confidence After Cancer online course - you can find out more here 

Gabby x

3 barrels

(me, my husband Paul, my son Liam and our best friends Phil and Tracy - getting festive yesterday)


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