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vital: Reduce your risk of cancer.

ARE you surprised to hear that healthy eating, exercise and maintaining your optimum weight can prevent about a third of cancers?

Arecent survey commissioned by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that 50 per cent of people are still not aware that being overweight is a cause of cancer.

Some 57 per cent know that a poor diet increases cancer risk, but just 38 per cent recognise the link between not being physically active and developing the disease.

"We still have a long way to go in terms of getting across the message that people can make a real difference to their cancer risk," said Lisa Cooney, head of education for WCRF.

You should aim to be towards the lower end of the healthy weight range for your gender and height, as excess body fat is a cause of six different types of cancer.

Here are some more tips to help protect yourself.


Drinking as little as one pint of beer or one glass of wine a day increases risk of breast cancer by more than seven per cent. A more active lifestyle also reduces breast cancer risk, as does breastfeeding.


Eat garlic, plenty of fruit and veg, and food containing fibre to cut your chances of developing the disease, and up your intake of fish and milk.


Studies suggest that alpha-linolenic acid (found in animal fat, vegetable oils and nuts) is associated with a heightened risk, while linolenic acid, found in vegetable oils, protects against prostate cancer.


Smoking cigarettes is the most preventable risk factor, but higher intake of fruit may protect you, too. An increase in fruit consumption of 100 grams a day is estimated to reduce risk by approximately 20 per cent.


1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.

2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.

3.Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, low in fibre or high in fat).

4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and pulses, such as beans.

5. Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats.

6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women per day.

7.Limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt.

8. Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.

9. Mums should breastfeed their baby for up to six months.

10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for prevention. Always remember, do not smoke.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 19, 2008
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