10 lifestyle choices that could lower risk of all cancers

What can you eat to help PREVENT cancer?

New research has found a number of lifestyle choices that could lower a person’s risk of developing cancer.

As well as breastfeeding and avoiding certain supplements, it found eating no more than three portions of red meat per week was also key.

Getting two and a half hours of exercise per week, avoiding sugary drinks and keeping to a healthy weight was also recommended.

The research analysed the validity of a previous set of recommendations set by The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

Researchers from Newcastle University in the UK tested the guidance on people from Britain using data from 94,778 adults with an average age of 56.

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Self-reported data on diet and exercise was taken, also the participants’ body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measurements.

Each participant was scored on their adherence to the recommendations out of seven.

Cancer registry data to track cancer diagnoses was also tracked during the eight-year study period.

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The researchers found greater adherence to the recommendations led to lower cancer risk.

For every recommendation participants stuck to they lowered their cancer risk by seven per cent.

One of the most surprising recommendations was breastfeeding. The researchers suggested the cancer protection may be due to hormonal changes that occur during lactation.

During breastfeeding, periods are irregular and this lowers the amount of the sex hormone oestrogen the body is exposed to over a lifetime. Excess oestrogen has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

The 10 lifestyle choices that could lower your risk of cancer:

1. Staying at the lower end of the healthy BMI range

2. Two and a half hours of exercise per week

3. Eat a balanced diet with at least 30g of fibre and at least diver portions of fruits and vegetables a day

4. Limit fast food

5. Eat no more than three portions of red meat a week

6. Avoid drinks with added sugar

7. No alcohol

8. Stay away from supplements for cancer prevention

9. Breastfeed if able to for six months

10. Follow a doctor’s advice after a cancer diagnosis

The study findings were published in the journal BMC Medicine. 

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