Do These 4 Things To Cut Your Cancer Risk By Up To 70%

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Affiliate Disclosure here.

Do These 4 Things To Cut Your Cancer Risk By Up To 70%

Although researchers have targeted everything from artificial sweeteners to statin drugs as potential causes of cancer, the whole area of cancer research is a minefield and leaves more people confused, rather than informed and empowered.

However, now a new study, published in May 2016 in the journal JAMA Oncology, may simplify things. Keep reading to find out the four straightforward steps you can take to cut your cancer risk by up to 70%!

What the Science Says

The research, carried out by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, highlights how a few small lifestyle changes can massively reduce the risk of getting cancer.

After looking at how lifestyle choices of Caucasians impact on cancers classified as carcinomas (this includes all cancers except those of the skin, brain, lymphatic, hematologic and nonfatal prostate varieties), they concluded that if every American gave up cigarettes, lowered their intake of alcohol, maintained a healthy weight and exercised regularly, cancer diagnoses would drop by an incredible 40% to 70%!

Not all cancers are preventable, however, with outcomes varying depending on gender, genetics and the type of cancer.

In addition, it’s important to note that the differences between the high-risk and the low-risk groups studied varied enormously depending on the type of cancer. While the risk of contracting lung cancer was 78% to 82% greater in the high-risk group than the low-risk group; when it came to breast cancer, women in the high-risk group were only 4% more likely to get the condition than those classed as low-risk.

Nonetheless, to give yourself the best chance of avoiding cancer, take on board the following advice, based on this exciting emerging research.

1. Quit Smoking

An estimated 40 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes, a habit which is the country’s leading cause of preventable death and disease.

To quit smoking for good – and dramatically lower your risk of cancer and death – there are a number of strategies you can take:

Going Cold Turkey

Although 90% of those who try to quit smoking go this route without outside support, only 4% to 7% succeed in their goal.

Make a Plan

To increase your chances of kicking the habit for good, choose a date to quit, tell your family and friends about your plan, and remove all cigarettes, ashtrays and other paraphernalia from your home.

Identify Triggers

Try to pinpoint those triggers which make you want to reach for a cigarette! These may include stressful events, the 11am coffee break or even car journeys. Keeping a journal can be a useful way to identify your unique triggers.

Once identified, decide what you will do when these triggers arise to diffuse your desire for a cigarette. It may be that you need to chew gum, invest in a stress ball, go for a walk, or simply switch from coffee to green tea so the smell doesn’t prompt a craving!


Not only is exercising a great way to work off those cigarette cravings, but you’ll be redoubling your efforts to stave off cancer.

A Gallup Poll found that smokers who exercised regularly were twice as likely to quit smoking when compared with smokers who did not work out. What’s more, exercise can mitigate stress in the same way that cigarettes do – replacing your dependence on them as a source of stress relief.

Alternative Therapies

A number of alternative therapies have been found in studies to help smokers quit for good. These include acupuncture, massage, meditation, aromatherapy, hypnosis and eating a healthier diet, abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables.

You can learn more about these fantastic natural approaches here.

2. Reducing Alcohol Intake

Although a glass of red wine in the evening can reduce stress and even bring a few health benefits (like lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels), drinking additional units of alcohol tends to cause more harm than good.

In fact, a growing body of research is finding that even moderate drinking habits have been linked to an increasing list of health concerns such as poor immunity, weight gain and, of course, cancer.

If you’ve gotten into the habit of regularly consuming more than one drink a night (or two for men), or if you don’t take at least two alcohol-free days a week as per World Health Organization guidelines, then it may be time to make some changes to reduce cancer risk and enjoy optimal health.

Here are some tips to cut down:

Pour a Smaller Glass

By pouring a smaller measure of alcohol in each glass, you can still enjoy the same number of drinks as you always do, while still taking in the same amount of alcohol. You can also try diluting your red wine with a little water to make it go further.

Have a Lower Strength Drink

Swap strong beers or wines for ones with a lower alcohol percentage.

Make it a Virgin

If cocktails at Happy Hour are your Achilles’ heel, then it’s an easy fix – choose to omit the alcohol. You’ll still get the same great taste without the health concerns.

Healthier Alternatives

For many people, a drink with dinner or before bed is simply a well-entrenched ritual. If this is the case, try filling your wine glass with sparkling water flavored with fruits and fresh herbs. Herbal teas are another great option, which also promote sleep and relaxation. You can also use this as an opportunity to get your daily dose of amazing apple cider vinegar.

Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Reducing Alcohol Intake

Finally, whenever you want to reach for a second bottle of beer, remember the incredible health benefits of cutting back. Not only will your risk of cancer drop, but you’ll experience these 14 positive effects on your physical and mental health.

3. Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Keeping your weight within the healthy range is a vital part of disease prevention, yet it’s something that is frequently ignored. An incredible 70% of US adults are classed as overweight or obese, an epidemic which is valued by the CDC at an annual cost of $147 billion!

Follow these tips to maintain a healthy BMI and reduce cancer risk:

Track Your Weight

Keep an eye on the scales and take note of how well your clothes are fitting. This way, you can address any gains before they become out of hand.

Eat Right

When it comes to weight, food intake plays a much greater role than exercise.

Whether you want to maintain or lose weight, your diet should be made up primarily of vegetables, some fruits, sweet potatoes, whole grains like rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth, and some nuts and seeds along with lean protein sources like lentils, beans, fish and eggs.

Avoid processed foods, sodas, vegetable oils, sugary treats, simple carbohydrates like breads, pastries, white pasta and pizzas, and limit your intake of alcohol as mentioned earlier.

Practice mindful eating – the art of paying attention to the sight, smell and taste of your food. Eat when you are hungry, and stop when full.

Finally, don’t skip breakfast – it’s not deemed the ‘most important meal of the day’ for nothing!

Balance Hormones

Imbalanced hormones can be an often overlooked cause of weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. If any of these warning signs sound familiar, your hormones may be out of whack and a visit to the doctor could be in order.

Weight Gain and Genetics

Although genetics do play a role in weight – with certain people being more predisposed to weight gain than others – scientists believe that environment and lifestyle choices play a far bigger role in weight management than genetics do.

So, even if you are one of those that carry the ‘fairly common’ obesity gene, a large body of research suggests that how these genes express themselves is mainly up to you.

4. Exercising

The Mayo Clinic recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week for healthy bones and a healthy heart, as well as to reduce stress and the risk of cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Some people may need to do more than this to lose or maintain weight, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you’re new to exercise, start off small – with a morning walk or lunchtime swim – and gradually increase the intensity, distance or frequency with which you work out.

And with exercises that can be done in the home or office – like squats, planks and even kettlebells – there’s no excuse not to fit in exercise around your daily schedule!

Remember, also, that exercise can be an important component of maintaining a healthy weight, particularly for those with the ‘obesity gene’. An analysis of 54 studies discovered that while those with the gene had a higher risk of being overweight, exercise dramatically lowered their chances of becoming obese!