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What are major risk factors to getting cancer?

What are some of the major risk factors to getting cancer? / Photo: Danielle Ledbetter

Weight is linked to certain types of cancer. Those types are colon, breast, uterine and to some extent ovarian cancer. There are several other risk factors that cause this disease.

Oncologist Chirag Jani suggests prevention is better than reaction to the sickness. He also says the major risk factor for developing cancer is smoking.

"Weight is second important. It's a very very important risk factor for cancer along with diet and exercise and the specific type of food you eat."

The oncologist suggests eating a cancer-protective diet that includes, "Eating the right food, focusing more on fruits and vegetables, cutting down on the red meat and a glass of wine by some studies is also recommended."

However, excessive amounts of alcohol does not lower your risk of cancer.

Another component to the cancer-protective diet is lowering your intake of processed foods. Dietitian Debbie Harris says look at the labels on your food.

"If it's got a lot of words in it you can't understand then it's probably highly processed. So you want to stay away from those foods," says Harris.

Harris also says set small exercise goals that you can expound upon later, "When you want to get some of your weight off, you do want to lose some of your body fat and maintain your muscle mass."

She recommends using AICR.org as a resource. She says the website has tons of recipes for those looking to keep their weight down and to prevent cancer.


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