4 Lifestyle Choices Can Make Cancer More Survivable: Study

Posted by North Texas Cancer Center at Wise on September 28th, 2017

An estimated 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancers other than skin in the coming year. While early detection and improved treatment methods have combined to make many forms of the disease much more survivable, there are other factors that may play a role in survivability. A recent study sheds light on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and the impacts they may have on helping people survive cancer if it is diagnosed.

The study in question based its results on a group of more than 135,000 healthcare professionals who were followed closely since the 1980s. The study population was split into two group: those with a low risk for cancer based on lifestyle choices and those at higher risk. Researchers ultimately found that people in the low-risk group were less likely to develop cancer. They were also much less likely to die from the disease if it developed. About half of the cancers diagnosed in the high-risk group, the study found, would have been preventable had the people developed healthier habits. In regard to survivability, more than 65 percent of cancer deaths among men and nearly 60 percent of those involving women may have been preventable with better lifestyle habits.

The four habits researchers are promoting to prevent cancer and potentially avert death should it develop are:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight – People included in the low-risk group were deemed of normal weight or only mildly overweight. Since obesity is strongly linked to the development of certain types of cancer, it is strongly recommended people take steps to bring weight into a healthy range and maintain it.
  1. Avoiding smoking – The people in the study group deemed low risk had never smoked. People who do smoke are strongly advised to work with their healthcare providers to kick the habit. Cessation programs, medications and other tools are available to help people step away from this habit. Doing so can dramatically improve overall health while cutting risks for heart disease, cancer and other serious health complications.
  1. Avoiding alcohol overuse – Those in the low-risk group either didn’t drink or only did so moderately. Moderate is defined as no more than a drink a day for a woman and no more than two a day for a man.
  1. Exercising regularly – Low-risk group members reported exercising moderately for at least 2.5 hours a week. If exercise isn’t a part of the routine, the study suggests it should be. A healthcare provider can recommend appropriate exercises and intensity levels based upon current health status.

While not every one of the 1.7 million cases of cancer set for diagnosis this year will be preventable or survivable, many will be. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can make all the difference.

About Author

North Texas Cancer Center at Wise, a division of Choice Cancer Care, is now operating as the Cancer Center at Wise Regional and is one of the most renowned cancer treatment centers in Texas.

Like it? Share it!

North Texas Cancer Center at Wise

About the Author

North Texas Cancer Center at Wise
Joined: February 24th, 2016
Articles Posted: 20

More by this author