How to cut your risk of cancer
We all know someone who’s been affected by cancer, so it’s no surprise it’s top of our worry list. But with many of the risk factors within our control, here’s how you can ease the anxiety
The simple lifestyle shifts that can dramatically lower your risk
Here’s an astonishing – and rather reassuring – fact about cancer that you may not already know: a massive nine out of 10 cases are caused by lifestyle. This means that, in many cases, your health is in your own hands, and by making small tweaks, you can safeguard your body right through to old age.
Cutting-edge research is helping to discover new ways to limit our cancer risk, and they’re often as simple as changing what we eat or adding a few minutes of the right kind of activity to our days. So when we read the scary statistic that cancer rates will increase nearly six times faster in women than in men during the next two decades, we shouldn’t panic, say medical experts.
‘The predicted rise in female cancer rates is mainly down to lifestyle, most obviously obesity, but also alcohol, smoking, too much sitting and low uptake of cancer screenings,’ says Dr Emma Crosbie, cancer surgeon and member of wellbeingofwomen.org.uk.
A few simple lifestyle shifts can dramatically lower your risk of a whole host of female cancers. Here’s how…
‘Women who are active have a lower risk of cancer. You don’t have to go to a gym – just walking is great’
always walk. Get off the bus a stop early, cycle to work, take the dog out for a little longer. Cleaning and grocery shopping count – anything that gets you moving.’
There’s a lot of hype around standing desks, too, but the best option is an adjustable desk, where you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. When researchers gave people sit-stand desks, it reduced their sedentary time by more than three hours a week. If you work in an office, make an effort to incorporate more activity into your days – print at the furthest printer, go to the loo on the next floor, take half an hour of exercise at lunchtime. It all adds up.