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New Cancer Prevention Tips for Marylanders

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January 30, 2012

BALTIMORE - There's another reason to keep that New Year's resolution to improve eating habits and increase physical activity. The American Cancer Society (ACS)says those steps will significantly lower your cancer risk.

This month, the ACS has updated its guidelines for cancer prevention. Cancer Society spokeswoman Denise Kolba explains that people who are overweight tend to have higher levels of insulin and estrogen circulating in their systems.

"And research has shown us that these hormones are related to cell growth, and so, therefore, are really thought to influence our cancer risk."

She says losing even a small amount of weight can be beneficial, and adds that it's never too late to start. The ACS estimates about 31,000 Marylanders will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

The nutrition guidelines focus on smaller portion sizes, although Greg Cameron with the Cancer Society says it's also important to pay attention to what's on that plate.

"Consume a healthy diet, and most of that should consist of plant sources, which is like, fruits and vegetables. And we also encourage them to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or physical activity, each week."

The latest Cancer Society guidelines say excessive weight is a factor in 14 to 20 percent of U.S. cancer deaths, and that those who follow the recommendations get the added bonus of reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease, as well.

See the updated guidelines at bit.ly/bG5q37. ACS cancer estimates are at bit.ly/zRwA8F.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD