Obesity and Cancer: January 26, 2019

Losing weight, eating better, and having a more active lifestyle—they are some of the most common New Year resolutions---But what if your resolution lowered your risk of developing cancer?  “Only about a very small percentage of five to maybe 10 percent of all cancer diagnosis is related to genetics, the rest are all environmental factors,” said Valerie Butram, an oncology education and survivorship coordinator with Lee Health.

Environmental factors like food, lack of physical activity and smoking. But one of the most important risk factors for cancer is obesity.  “It’s really focusing on the importance of overweight and obesity that is contributing to these risk factors for many, many cancers,” said Butram.

Lowering the numbers here can lower your risk for cancer. “Many Americans don’t realize that they are overweight and it becomes almost an acceptance and a way of life,” she said.

Making small changes to what you eat and how much you eat can make a big difference. “Less processed, more whole foods, foods that are closer to the ground,” said Butram.

It’s also important to add more movement to your day. “Parking their car further away instead of close to the shopping center, taking the steps instead of the elevator, getting more steps into their life makes a big difference,” she explained.

Making small changes to your diet and daily routine can make a big difference to your weight and lower your risk for cancer.