Healthy Living: American Cancer Society releases stricter guidelines for reducing cancer risk


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Do you know the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer right now? The American Cancer Society just released new, stricter guidelines for the first time in eight years that provide specific recommendations for our health.

“Addressing healthy behaviors can reduce your cancer risk by 18 percent. That is very significant!” said Dr. Drew Oliveira, Senior Executive Medical Director, Regence BlueShield.

Following the new ACS guidelines can have a measurable impact on your cancer risk.

First, get to and stay at a healthy body weight.

“Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life impacts your risk for developing cancer. Weight is associated with a number of types of cancers… breast, colorectal, lung, renal, stomach cancers, other gynecological cancers,” said Dr. Oliveira.

Next, maintain a healthy diet. Do: Eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, plenty of whole grains, and brown rice. Don't: Eat red meat and processed meats like bacon and hot dogs, sugar-sweetened drinks, highly-processed foods and refined grain products.

“All of those things will actually help not only maintain a good healthy diet but also gonna help maintain a healthy weight," said Dr. Oliveira.

Next, the guidelines recommend avoiding or limiting alcohol intake.

“They come out stating that no alcohol should be consumed because of the risk of cancers,” said Dr. Oliveira. “If you must have alcohol, for women: one drink a day. For men, two as a maximum, to help reduce your risk of cancers.”

And finally, get physical!

Adults should get 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

Children should have at least one hour of moderate or vigorous activity every day.

“We don’t want people sitting in their homes, looking at their phones, watching tv,"  said Dr. Oliveira. "Get out, exercise, it’s good and important for your health but also lowers your cancer risk.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in men and women in the US, exceeded only by heart disease.


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