Medical Minute 2-4: Making Healthy Choices: Reducing Changes of Cancer

By: Scott Goldberg Email
By: Scott Goldberg Email

Wendy Budin knows she and her daughters are at risk for breast cancer. It killed her mother.

I'm concerned about their risks in the future with my family history," she said.

A new study shows she can help protect herself against cancer. Leading cancer researchers say as many as 340-thousand cases of cancer in the U.S. could be prevented each year if people eat better, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight and drink less alcohol.

"I think it's really important that these things that are in our control , which are lifestyle factors, things that we can control and do something about, we can impact our incidence of cancer," said Dr. Deborah Axelrod/NYU Langone Medical Center.

Researchers say we could see a 38% drop in breast cancer cases if people take simple steps, including moderate exercise for at least 2 and a half hours a week.

Cancer is the one of the most common causes of death in the U.S., second only to heart disease. It kills about a half million Americans each year, and many could save their own lives if they stop smoking, avoid getting too much sun and protect against cancer causing infections such as HPV and hepatitis.

"We estimate that about 35% of cancer deaths globally could be prevented thorugh known interventions and that translates into over 2 million deaths per year," said Dr. Elizabeth Ward, American Cancer society.

Wendy is doing everything she can to keep healthy. Eating well, trying to maintain my weight, exercise, healthy diet and she knows that setting an example can also teach her daughters to live healthier.

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