In 16 years, cancer rates could be cut in half. Until then, fight the big C today with these tricks.
In a University of Vermont study, the fittest men were 68 percent less likely to develop lung cancer and 38 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancers than the least active men—and those who developed cancer had better outcomes if they exercised regularly. Cardio and resistance training help control inflammation and hormone levels—and they keep your immune system strong to fend off wayward cells. (Turn up your muscle gains outside the gym. These 18 Ways to Build Muscle All Day will help you shed fat, sculpt muscle, and accelerate recovery.)
Skip Anything Fried
Guys who eat french fries, fried chicken, fried fish, or fried doughnuts once or more a week have up to a 37 percent higher risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Oil that’s heated to high temperatures develops carcinogenic compounds in food. (You might not know you're missing vital nutrients, but here's how to get them by learning these 6 New Food Rules to Follow.)
Sip Pomegranate Juice
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that pomegranate juice may stunt lung cancer growth. Plus, previous studies also show it delays prostate cancer in mice and stabilizes PSA levels in men who’ve been treated for the cancer. Sip about 16 ounces of the juice per day, which is rich in polyphenols, isoflavones, and ellagic acid that may team up to fight cancer.
If there’s a screening for a type of cancer and you’re eligible for it, get it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if everyone over 50 had regular colon cancer screenings, 60 percent of deaths from the disease could be prevented. Talk to your doctor about screenings for colorectal, prostate, testicular, skin, and lung cancer. (Discover 8 stealth strategies to Cancer-Proof Your Body.)
Snack on Blueberries
The fruit is brimming with a compound called pterostilbene that may slash precancerous lesions in the gut that, left unchecked, could lead to colon cancer, Rutgers University researchers say. Aim for a cup and a half of blueberries per day—pour them over your cereal, snack on them fresh, or dump them into a daily smoothie.
People on a high-fiber eating plan—about 17 grams per 1,000 calories—had a 19 percent decrease in kidney cancer risk compared with those who took in the least, a study in the journal Clinical Nutrition found. Fiber may block cancer-causing toxins from traveling from your intestines to your kidneys, the study reports. (Here are more foods with amazing—and scientifically proven—health benefits: Check out the 50 Foods with Superpowers.)
Get Help to Stop Snoring
People with severe sleep apnea—snoring is the main symptom—are almost five times as likely to die of cancer as those who snooze more soundly, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. With sleep apnea, levels of oxygen in your blood dip. This can cause small existing tumors to grow new blood vessels, giving them fuel to develop faster and spread through your bloodstream more quickly.
More than 92,000 cases of cancer a year can be blamed on sitting too much, a study by the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests. Even if you exercise regularly, you’re still at risk. Set your cell phone alarm to remind you to stand for one to two minutes every hour. It’ll help reduce levels of molecules in your body that are linked with cancer risk. (Be strong, energetic, and healthy like you were at 25!)
Down the Sunshine Vitamin
People who supplemented their diets with 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day decreased their risk of cancer by as much as 77 percent over four years compared to those who popped a placebo, reports a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin D is also available in salmon, sardines, and shiitake mushrooms.
Eat three Brazil nuts every day, which deliver healthy selenium. A Harvard study found that this amount is associated with a 48 percent lower incidence of advanced prostate cancer.