February is a cancer prevention month, together let’s try to lower our risk of developing cancer

Our life expectancy has increased significantly due to advances in medicine.  Unfortunately the longer you live the higher the risk of getting cancer.  Although aging may seem hopeless, reducing the risk of developing cancer is not. Making lifestyle changes NOW can affect not only how long you live but your chances of getting cancer.  

A recent large study reported on the effect of healthy lifestyle factors and life expectancy free of cancer. The researchers collected information about diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, body mass index (BMI) status and other data from 111,562 participants collected between 1980 and now. Low risk lifestyle factors were as follows:

  1. Smoking (never)
  2. Physical activity (>3.5 hours/week moderate to vigorous intensity activity)
  3. High diet quality
  4. Moderate alcohol intake (< 2 drinks per day for men and < 1 drink per day for women)
  5. Normal weight (body mass index <25).

The results indicated that women with four or five low risk lifestyle factors had 8.3 years longer life without cancer, while men gained 6 years of life without cancer.  In people who had cancer, 50% of cancer mortality was due to not following a low risk lifestyle.

What does this mean to you? According to this study there are 5 tips you need to know to add years without cancer to your life expectancy:

  1. Be active – >3.5 hours/week moderate to vigorous intensity activity will help you reduce your cancer risk
  2. Eat a high quality diet – 80% of your food should come from fruits and vegetables
  3. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day (for women) and 2 drinks per day (for men)
  4. Keep your BMI <25
  5. Don’t smoke

This may be seem like a lot to remember but who says you need to remember all this information? What if we told you can have an app that will not only do the “remembering” for you but will remind you about these 5 tips to increase your cancer-free life expectancy? Well, there is! OWL  (Own your Wellness and Living) can help not only reduce your risk for cancer but help you achieve optimal health.

And we are not the only ones advocating for a cancer free life. Check out PGA tour players share their cancer prevention tips!