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Your Healthy Family: 4 behavioral changes that can reduce risk of cancer

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A new study that suggests that about half of all cancer cases in the U.S. could be prevented  with just four lifestyle changes.  While that may sound simple we're talking about 4 of the daily struggles many Americans face.

Dr. Shelby Terstriep is an Oncologist who say’s "Ideally, we would love for oncologists to be out of business."  

There are behavioral ways, however, to try and prevent cancer from developing says Dr. Terstripe.  "Smoking causes inflammation in the body and there are almost 11 different types of cancers that are associated with smoking.  And, by stopping smoking, we can decrease those cancer rates by 48 percent."

Doctor Terstripe also says the more alcohol we drink, the more likely we are to get different types of cancers. And, though, it's recommended to minimize alcohol use as much as possible, there are some guidelines.  “About one drink per day for women is probably the safest that we can drink or less. And, two drinks per day for men."

Excess drinking can also add excess pounds and maintaining an ideal body weight throughout your lifetime is pertinent.  "We know that excess body weight can create a whole milieu of hormonal changes in our body, especially the insulin and insulin-resistance and that also can set up an inflammatory response which can lead to more cancer development."

Getting a sufficient amount of exercise can help decrease your body's inflammation.  "The key numbers that you want to strive for is 150 minutes of moderate activity per week and that's not just for cancer risk but other types of diseases, as well."

Also Dr. Terstriep says another change that could prevent cancer and other diseases is adequate sleep.  So while they may not be four easy steps, quitting smoking, cutting out or cutting down on drinking, and getting regular exercise and adequate sleep can pay big dividends in the fight against cancer.

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