We all are afraid of hearing the word "cancer" from our doctors.
Reducing your risk of cancer could be as close as your bathroom scale. The heavier you are, the more likely you are to get certain cancers.
Two-thirds of the country is overweight or obese. Experts say high-fat diets and sedentary lifestyles are to blame.
That weight you carry also carries an increased risk of some cancers, and other diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
Cutting your waist size is as easy as cutting your portion sizes of the food you already eat. That's the word from dietitian Carrie Smith with Blessing Hospital.
Smith said, "The best way to cut calories is to change how much you are eating. Taking those portions and making them smaller. Even if it's taking it down by a quarter, you're still getting fewer calories overall."
Another way to cut calories in high-fat foods is to play the substitution game. Use reduced-fat and reduced-calorie substitutions. Take your favorite coffee drink, for example.
Smith said, "Change from whole fat to no-fat milk, you're not going to notice the difference."
Another suggestion is easier said than done for some families: Try more meals at home.
Joe Blasko with the American Cancer Society said, "People are busier and they tend to try to reach for those things that they can do in a couple of three minutes, rather than taking the time to make a meal at home."
Families are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables at home than order them in a restaurant. The nutrients in those red, green and yellow vegetables pack a cancer-fighting punch.
And you can't overlook the value of exercise in the weight-loss equation. The American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Getting up and moving also helps when you do have cancer.
Blessing Cancer Center Medical Oncologist Dr. Kathryn Arrambide said, "Exercise can improve your ability to withstand cancer treatment even if you already have cancer. Can decrease nausea, it can improve body mass index, it can improve your well being. diet and exercise."
Obesity is a huge issue for children right now. Log onto our Parenting Tips page for more practical tips to help kids lose weight....and maintain healthy weights.
One of your favorite beverages also may be increasing your cancer risk. Doctors suggest avoiding alcoholic beverages like mixed drinks and beer. They're directly linked with some types of cancer.
Why is that?
Dr. Arrambide said, "Alcohol is a toxin. And so there is a direct link between intake of alcoholic beverages and some types of cancer, including gastric and bladder cancer. And esophogeal and head and neck cancers. There is a direct link."
But good news for wine lovers.
Research has found some decrease in cancer risk associated with drinking *limited* amounts of *red* wine.