Research roundup–does a healthier lifestyle decrease the risk of cancer recurrence?

To me, the logical answer to that question is yes. Yesterday, the American Cancer Society released new guidelines based on research that backs me up.

Here’s what they said:

Over the last several years, evidence has accumulated for a number of cancers that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the chance of recurrence and increase the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis of cancer. Big news.

Big news, indeed.

In recent years, experts have agreed that lifestyle plays a role in reducing risk for certain kinds of cancer; mainly breast, prostate and colon. Eating lots of fruit and veggies, as well as limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy body composition seemed to provide some protection against cancer. No one knew just how much, and clearly other factors also influence risk. Lung cancer, for example, is strongly linked to smoking or other hazardous environmental exposure.

Now, after five years and more than 100 studies involving cancer survivors, officials are confident enough to say healthier living also reduces cancer-recurrence rates and prolongs survival for those with breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Here’s a summary of the new recommendations:

  1. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  2. Be active on a regular basis
  3. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains

For more information, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.

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