Nearly 1.7 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Just over 600,000 of them will lose their lives to the disease.
This is a fight no family ever wants to face — yet there are some incredibly simple things all of us can do on a daily basis to help reduce our risk of cancer. We’re just not doing them. Why?
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Baby aspirin taken daily — 81 milligrams, to be specific — is one important step recommended by cancer experts toward preventing the disease.
Here are the other four steps:
- exercising for 30 minutes every day
- eating more vegetables
- avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol
- reducing our sedentary behavior overall
Cancer researchers say there are very definite links to our lifestyles and our risk for developing cancer. Of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25 percent to 30 percent are due to tobacco. As many as 30 to 35 percent of deaths are linked to diet; about 15 to 20 percent are due to infections; and the remaining percentage are due to other factors such as radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants and more, according to a 2008 report from the experts at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
The numbers haven’t changed much since then.
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Professor Bob Winberg, a biologist at MIT and the Whitehead Institute, recently told Boston’s NPR news station that if smoking and obesity can be reduced, “We are going to see decreases in cancer mortality, at least over the next decade or two, that dwarf anything I and my colleagues can produce in terms of new, miraculous cures.”