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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Cancer Prevention Strategies

May 04, 2015 08:21AM

Lifestyle and environmental factors are important to cancer prevention strategies. Only 5 percent to 10 percent of cancers are estimated to develop due to inherited genes, explains Cancer Treatment Centers of America naturopathic practitioners Sara Gomendi, ND, FABNO, and Jessica Moore, ND. For example, the American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that Americans can prevent one of two cases of colorectal cancer by staying lean, eating healthy and moving more. Here are some cancer prevention tips to remember:

Get moving: Exercise stimulates the immune system, decreases inflammation, improves digestion, and may help to prevent some types of cancer.

Drink plenty of water: Water intake is important to good health.

Eat healthy: Choose whole foods over processed or packaged foods and follow the New American Plate guideline, which is 50 percent vegetables with a small amount of fruit, 25 percent of lean protein and 25 percent of whole grains and healthy fats.

Make sleep a priority: Seven to nine hours of sleep per night can help increase immune function, decrease insulin resistance, as well as support detoxification and hormone balance.

Manage stress: Mental and emotional wellness can affect . health. Know when to ask for help and be sure to rest your mind and body.

Be smart: Avoid tobacco, smoking and second-hand smoke.

Get Screened on Time: The American Cancer Society recommends these guidelines for regular screening in most adults:

Breast: Annual mammograms for women after age 40 and self-exams monthly.

Cervical: For women after age 21, pelvic exam with PAP/HPV testing, depending on age and history.

Prostate: Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctor about their prostate health. Ask the doctor about your PSA level, as higher values are associated with either prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate, which is not a cancerous condition.

Colon: After age 50, an annual stool test to check for blood, a colonoscopy every 10 years and/or possiblyother screening procedures such as sigmoidoscopy or CT or barium enema as recommended by a physician.

Lung: No regular screening other than regular annual checkups.

Know your family history. If you have specific risk factors for certain types of cancer, you may need additional or modified screenings, which can include earlier, more frequent or different screenings.

For more information, visit CancerCenter.com.

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