Source: Courier-Post Online
One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. This year alone, the society expects more than 848,000 new cases of cancer to be diagnosed in men, with 312,150 deaths. So the Society and Amerigroup Foundation are taking the opportunity to encourage men to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle. In particular, we are spreading the word that men can greatly reduce their risk of developing cancer by adopting simple changes that can make a big difference in their health.
First, the American Cancer Society recommends adopting healthier nutritional habits. Cut back on red meat and processed foods and eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than two drinks a day and ideally less than that. Obesity is linked to many cancers, and maintaining a healthy weight is important to reducing cancer risk.
Along with eating a healthier diet, men should get more exercise. The Society recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. And physical activity doesn’t have to be a trip to the gym. It can be as easy to work into your life as mowing the lawn or walking around your neighborhood.
Cut out tobacco products. If you smoke, stop, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Eighty-seven percent of lung cancers can be attributed to smoking (and second-hand smoke). And lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer of both men and women, with 158,040 lung cancer deaths expected in 2015.
Be sure to get regular cancer screenings. For example, starting at age 50, men should begin screening for colon cancer, earlier if they have a family history of the disease. There are several screening options available, including simple take-home options. Men should talk with their doctors about all of the cancer screening options right for them. Check the Society’s cancer screening information.
Now is the perfect time to start living a healthier lifestyle. We urge men to be proactive about their health and make choices that will reduce their risk of cancer and lead to longer, healthier lives. Their families will be glad they did!
For more information on men’s health and a detailed explanation of cancer risk factors, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit http://cancer.org.
By Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer, the American Cancer Society; and Dr. Roberta McNeill, chief medical director, Amerigroup New Jersey.