Lifestyle could reduce cancer two-thirds

Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:30 PM
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ROCHESTER, Minn., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. health experts say about two-thirds of cancers could be prevented via lifestyle changes.

The Mayo Clinic researchers explain in their Special Report on Cancer Prevention in the November issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource says maintaining proper weight by eating a healthy, low-fat diet and by stepping up moderate to vigorous physical activity to 45 to 60 minutes almost daily might reduce one-third of cancer deaths.

Another one-third of the 560,000 yearly U.S. cancer deaths are related to tobacco exposure and they advise deciding to not smoke or if a smoker, to quit, the researchers says.

In addition, other ways to reduce cancer risk include limiting exposure to alcohol -- women should have no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and men, no more than two -- and ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds.

Everyone needs to get screening tests such as Pap tests, mammograms and colonoscopies -- to help find cancer early when successful treatment is most likely treated, the report says.

Infections caused by viruses are recognized as risk factors for several types of cancer. For example, human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease, is the most common cause of cervical cancer and chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C increase the risk of liver cancer.

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