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Can making healthy lifestyle changes reduce cancer risk?

March 10,2017 18:14

LANSING, Mich. – According to a recently released survey from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), many Americans are unaware of key risk factors for cancer. To encourage healthy lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of cancer, the ...



Like Local 3 News on Facebook:LANSING, Mich. – According to a recently released survey from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), many Americans are unaware of key risk factors for cancer. To encourage healthy lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of cancer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging residents of all ages to take steps today to improve their health in the future.“Michiganders need to become more aware of everyday lifestyle habits that increase cancer risk factors so they can make mindful decisions and healthy choices,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with MDHHS. “To reduce cancer risk, maintain a healthy body weight, be physically active, limit alcohol, and try to eat healthier – more fruits and vegetables – and less red and processed meats.”Fewer than half of the people who were surveyed by the AICR were aware of well-established lifestyle-related risk factors for cancer including inactivity, obesity, consumption of alcohol, diets high in red meat, diets low in vegetables and fruits, and consumption of processed meats. In contrast, a majority of survey respondents believed that genetic disposition had a significant effect on whether or not the average person will develop cancer. In reality, an estimated 90 to 95 percent of cancers develop in individuals who lack these genes.According to the Cancer Plan for Michigan 2016-2020, to reduce the risk of cancer, all Michiganders are encouraged to make the following changes to their habits:

Reduce or eliminate the use of tobacco or smokeless tobacco products;

Reduce their amount of heavy or binge drinking;

Ensure that all females and males ages 13-17 years have received the HPV vaccine series;

Increase physical activity levels as appropriate for each age group;

Increase fruit and vegetable intake, and reduce red and processed meats consumption.
Additionally, residents should work to maintain a healthy weight, receive the appropriate genetic counseling if there is a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, and ensure that youth are aware of the protective measures they should take to prevent skin cancer.For more information about steps residents can take to reduce their risk of cancer and make healthy lifestyle changes, visit www.michigan.gov/cancer. In addition, smokers trying to quit are encouraged to call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) for free, confidential help.

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