Now, there’s a question for you. It’s certainly one that we all wish could be answered with a resounding “yes.” But unfortunately, it’s not that simple, because cancer, in its many forms, is a complicated disease. However, we do have more power than we often realize when it comes to prevention.

One study, entitled “Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes,” offers some great insights. It notes that only 5-10% of all cancer cases are caused by genetics, whereas the remaining 90-95% are linked to environmental factors and daily lifestyle choices. Wow! That information comes as both a gift and a burden of responsibility, does it not?

The lifestyle factors in question include cigarette smoking, diet─with fried foods and red meat being the greatest culprits─alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity.

It turns out that of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25-30% are attributed to tobacco, as many as 30-35% are linked to diet, 15-20% are due to infections, with the rest associated with other factors like radiation, stress, physical inactivity, and environmental pollutants.(1)

Environmental factors may be more dangerous than previously thought, helping to explain the growing incidence of cancer. Those rated as certainly or potentially carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer include outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution by tobacco smoke, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and food additives like nitrates, pesticides, dioxins, and other organochlorines. Heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, and cosmetics may also be involved.(2)

Here are some specific actions you can take to reduce your cancer risk:

• Avoid tobacco, including hazardous second hand smoke. Protect yourself and your children from tobacco smoke in homes, cars, or other enclosed spaces.

• Consume a diet rich in high-quality, hormone/cholesterol-free lean protein, starting with a morning whey protein shake for 40 valuable grams.

• Eat a generous array of fresh produce every single day. How important is this? One study found that individuals eating the fewest fruits and vegetables have double the rate for most types of cancer than those eating the most.(3)

• Reach and maintain a healthy body weight, which must include exercising moderately 3-5 times weekly.

• Take a high-quality, daily multi-vitamin/mineral formula, which includes many nutrients that are not only health essentials, but cancer-protective as well.

• Include a full spectrum antioxidant formula, as these powerful natural compounds protect you at the cellular level by quenching cancer-promoting free radicals.

• Drink alcohol in moderation, emphasizing red wine over spirits to benefit from highly protective, anti-cancer resveratrol.

• Reduce your exposure to environmental risk factors─in your environment, food, and personal care products.

While this guide is not exhaustive, it does shed some light on the degree of control we actually have when it comes to protecting ourselves─and those we love─from one of the most feared diseases of all time. So, are you ready to modify your lifestyle as needed to better safeguard your wellness?

1Pharm Res. 2008 Sep;25(9):2097-116. Epub 2008 Jul 15.
2Environ Res. 2007 Nov;105(3):414-29. Epub 2007 Aug 9.
3FASEB J 1997 Dec;11(14):1330.