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'Top health reccomendations to stay cancer free in 2012'

TIPS: Staying cancer free in 2012

HERE IS something to think about as 2012 rolls in: strategies to reduce your cancer risk this year. Don't focus on just losing weight. Focus on what you can do to live a healthier lifestyle for the rest of your life.

The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter offers 12 recommendations for reducing your overall cancer risk. The authors acknowledge that what makes cancer so scary is the conflicting advice on what we should or shouldn't do to reduce cancer risks. Their 12 recommendations go a long way toward healthy living and cancer prevention.

1. Don't smoke or use any tobacco product

Cigarette smoking causes not only lung cancer but also cancers of the oesophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix.
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2. Keep the weight off.

Studies suggest that obesity contributes to about 14 per cent of the cancer deaths in American men and 20 per cent of those in women.
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3. Get off the couch.

Exercise may reduce cancer risk by lowering hormones and cellular growth factors, improving insulin resistance and improving the immune system.
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4. Eat a healthy diet.

Eat at least five (better yet, nine) servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits every day. Limit your intake of red meat and pork, especially processed meats. Choose whole grains over refined-grain products. Avoid salty and salt-preserved foods.
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5. Drink less alcohol.

Alcoholic beverages increase the risk of various cancers and, the more you drink, the greater the risk.
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6. Limit high-heat cooking.

Cooking high-protein foods such as meat, fish and poultry at high temperatures over coals or flames creates chemicals that are believed to promote cancer risk.
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7. Limit sun exposure.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds is responsible for the great majority of the two million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the US each year.
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8. Limit radiation from medical imaging tests.

Americans, on average, are exposed to six times more radiation from medical imaging than they were three decades ago. The risk from a single CT scan is minuscule, but radiation exposures add up over a lifetime.
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9. Test your home for radon.


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10. Test your water for arsenic.


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11. Decrease your workplace exposure to carcinogens such as second-hand smoke and other chemicals.


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12. Limit your exposure to air pollution - outdoors and indoors.


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Information courtesy the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian from the Creators Syndicate; website at www.creators.com.

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