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Cancer Prevention

Nearly everyone knows someone who has battled cancer. Cancer comes in various

forms, attacking cells from different parts of the body. The disease is characterized by the “development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue.”[1] It’s the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S.(1) However, both prevention and treatment methods are improving survival rates.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by changes in diet and physical activity.[2] Nutrition alone, without other lifestyle changes, is 25% preventative of cancer.(2) There’s a saying when it comes to cancer and other diseases that, “Genetics load the gun; diet pulls the trigger.” Below are nutrition-based actions you can do or limit to help prevent triggering cancer.


  • At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.

  • Eat at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables per day of various colors.

  • Eat at least 3 servings of whole grains.

  • Make ¾ of your plate plant-based and ¼ from an animal source.

  • Eat poultry and fish more often than red meat.


  • Sugary drinks and sweets.

  • High salt intake.

  • Alcohol to 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men.

  • Meat and fish grilled in direct flame, as well as cured or smoked meats. Avoid burning meat juices. (*Rosemary can counteract grill effect.)

  • Yo-yo dieting. It can decrease immunity and may increase your susceptibility to cancer.

  • Being overweight. High BMI increases the chance of getting several types of cancer.

  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products.

Here are a few links about cancer prevention:

[1] Mayo Clinic. (2015). Cancer. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2017 from

[2] Harris, M. (2016). Cancer. [Lecture Notes]. Reference: American Cancer Society.




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