Decreasing Cancer Risks

March 30, 2012

The thing about most cancer warnings is that they seem obvious: lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, reduce and eliminate toxins, even elective ones like drinking and smoking. But new studies are finding proof that the links between ignoring this advice and cancer development are strong, and that many Americans may be unaware they are putting themselves at risk.

It’s old news that there’s a link between how much women drink per day and breast cancer, for example. A new study published this week found strong findings of that correlation, however. The original study, conducted in northern California, home to many wine drinkers and the richest county in the country, found that each extra glass of alcohol per day increase breast cancer risk by a percentage point or two.

A new European study says that as little as one glass per day increases the risk of breast cancer 4%—3 or more drinks per day and the risk for breast cancer becomes 50% more likely than not drinking.

Or take being overweight—the heavier you are, the more you’re stressing your body—immune system, kidneys, liver, heart… and the American Cancer Society now wants to emphasize that those considered obese, about 30 pounds overweight, are also increasing their risk for cancer (as well as other diseases).

Since the link between smoking and lung cancer was established many smokers have kicked the habit, and lung cancer rates have plummeted. The American Cancer Society is hoping to create similar results by talking about other risks for cancer, and extra weight tops the list (it can also impair treatment and recovery from cancer since the entire body is burdened by the effects of extra weight).

Whether you enjoy the occasional drink or have a few pounds to lose, it’s something to consider—cancer rates have been going up across the board for Americans, and although there have been smaller studies on smaller environmental factors, the real problem may be the obvious one.

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