Modified from my original post on newtownathletic.com.
According to the American Cancer Institute, in 2015 an estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases will be diagnosed with 589,000 dying from the disease in the United States. National expenditures for cancer care in the United States totaled nearly $125 billion in 2010 and could reach $156 billion in 2020.
Cancer though, is not an inevitable consequence of aging and life. The World Health Organization reports that at least 1/3 of cancer incidences are preventable. As a Registered Dietitian, I travel to several large nutrition and exercise physiology conferences each year, and in multiple instances have heard oncologists speak, reporting they believe up to 50% of cancer cases in the US are preventable through lifestyle modification. As shown by the American Institute for Cancer Research below, 1/3 of Breast cancer incidences are preventable and up to 50% of colon cancer incidences.
As a Registered Dietitian, I truly believe that real food is medicine. While the $37 billion supplement industry convinces many that high doses of nutrients and compounds will solve or prevent health problems, many times they are accelerating disease or bringing about health concerns. With degrees in both nutrition and exercise physiology, I also recognize though that one must have an active lifestyle with a healthful diet to achieve optimal health. As our nation has become more developed Americans have become less healthy, with the majority of deaths being attributed to chronic disease.
While medical technology is saving many people through cancer screenings and treatments, wouldn’t it be great to prevent needing treatment in the first place? We hear of antioxidants in the media as if they are some magic potion that we can only get in a bottle or pill at a health food store. These compounds come from the foods that have always been on this earth and should be the foundation of our food intake. Making changes to your current eating pattern is not as hard as it sounds, but education on not only how to change, but why to change is necessary to have the motivation to transform your current habits.
As we raise awareness of cancer and support research for a cure in October, let us also raise awareness of and practice the eating habits that can prevent this terrible disease! I will be presenting “10 Tips to Reduce your Cancer Risk” at The Newtown Athletic Club on October 22 at 7 PM. The NAC makes all seminars free to the community. The seminar will cover how antioxidants fight the development of and progression of cancer as well as how to boost intake of antioxidant nutrients with simple diet and lifestyle changes.