Discussing New Cancer Prevention Guidelines

[xyz_lbx_custom_shortcode id=5] According to recent reports from national and international research teams, approximately one-third of all cancers can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Published studies have indicated that obesity plays a major role in cancer development through a number of biological mechanisms. Since the American Cancer Society (ACS) last published guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention in 2006, there has been mounting evidence addressing the role of obesity in the development of cancer. While it is not a new concept that daily exercise is important to helping prevent cancer, what has emerged in the literature is that prolonged sitting time (eg, watching television or sitting at the computer) also appears to significantly increase risks. Educate Patients on Cancer Prevention In the CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the ACS published an update to the 2006 guidelines that focused on reducing cancer risk with healthy food choices and physical activity. “The new recommendations emphasize that any level of positive change in diet or exercise is a step in the right direction to encourage patients to achieve optimum weight and exercise levels,” says Elisa V. Bandera, MD, PhD, who was a coauthor of the guidelines. “The loss of only a few pounds for obese and overweight people is beneficial. Small changes may lead to bigger ones and further encourage people to start changing their lifestyle for the better.” Dr. Bandera says that clinicians should educate patients about the health risks associated with being overweight and obese and provide them with the recommendations outlined in the guidelines (Table 1). She...