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Cancer Guidelines Really Do Help



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Cancer Guidelines Really Do Help

 If you think “it’s too late now” to adopt healthy habits to lower your risk of cancer, you are in for a surprise. An important new study concludes that following the diet and lifestyle guidelines from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) even fairly well after middle age can make a significant difference.

In an independent study, not funded by AICR, researchers at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center wanted to see how following AICR’s guidelines affected cancer risk. For 13 years, they tracked the diet, lifestyle, and disease rates for 29,564 women who were 55 to 69 years old at the start of the study.

The researchers looked at whether the women avoided tobacco, gained no more than 11 pounds after age 18, exercised daily, ate at least five servings of vegetables and fruits daily, got enough complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and limited alcohol, red meat, fat, and salt.

The study found that women who followed only one or none of AICR’s diet and lifestyle recommendations had a 35 percent higher risk of developing cancer than women who followed most of the recommendations. In regards to mortality, women who met only one or none of the AICR recommendations had a 43 percent higher risk of dying from cancer.

The results suggest that following guidelines involving physical activity, weight management, and diet had greater effect than concentrating on any one guideline.

The median number of recommendations met by the women was four. None of the women adhered to all nine recommendations. The highest compliance was for limiting alcohol and the lowest compliance was for eating vegetables and fruits

The AICR recommendations that the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers successfully tested in this important study come from the landmark AICR expert report called Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective. The recommendations of the AICR report can be summarized in six practical guidelines. These simple action steps represent the best advice science currently offers for lowering your cancer risk.

AICR Diet and Health Guidelines for Cancer Prevention:

*Choose a diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods.

*Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.

*Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.

*Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all.

*Select foods low in fat and salt.

*Prepare and store food safely.

And always remember... Do not use tobacco in any form.

For more information on these simple and practical guidelines, order AICR’s free brochure Simple Steps to Prevent Cancer. The phone number to call is 800-843-8114, ext. 111.

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