Lifestyle for Reducing the Risk of Cancer

The biggest risk factors for cancer are related to a sedentary lifestyle with poor dietary and lifestyle choices.

The biggest risk factors for cancer are related to a sedentary lifestyle with poor dietary and lifestyle choices.

The key areas of lifestyle change that can improve your wellbeing and increase your chances of a long and healthy life include:

  • Nutrition – a plant-based wholefood diet such as the Mediterranean diet
  • Exercise – ‘movement is medicine’ and research shows that a minimum of 150 minutes per week lowers the risk of many cancers.
  • Sleep – good quality, uninterrupted sleep, in darkness, optimises melatonin levels and the circadian rhythm. Shift work over many years increases some cancer risks.
  • Sunlight – vitamin D deficiency is linked to higher cancer rates, however excessive UV radiation is too.  Find a happy balance and avoid getting burnt.
  • Just don’t smoke – seek help to quit now. You may find relaxation techniques helpful as they can give new ways to manage stress
  • Healthy weight – During cancer treatment it’s important to maintain a steady weight. After treatment and when thinking about reducing the risk of cancer, it’s best to be as lean as possible, and stay within a healthy weight range. Seek help from exercise and nutrition professionals to find a sustainable lifestyle for you.
  • Minimise alcohol – classed as a carcinogen, the claims of health benefits for red wine are now being outweighed by the clear increase in risk of cancers with higher alcohol consumption. Finding healthier ways to relax might include meditation, relaxation, creative therapies and social activities around exercise rather than drinking.

Create a lifestyle that fits with your values and goals, and has elements that you enjoy.