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How to Adopt a Cancer Prevention Lifestyle
Tips on living a G.R.E.A.T. life!

By Heather Paulson, N.D., FABNO and Elizabeth Rice, N.D.

Current research shows that up to 50% of cancers may be preventable! (1) It is possible to adopt a "cancer prevention lifestyle" by making a few simple, easy changes to your daily habits. Here are five tips on how to live a G.R.E.A.T. life that will not only help prevent cancer, but also greatly enhance your health and vitality every day:

G = Get Active! 30-40 minutes, five days per week of ANY type of exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of colon, breast, prostate and other cancers. Walking, biking, yoga, water aerobics…it really doesn't matter how you exercise as long as you do it! Find a form of exercise you ENJOY, and BE CONSISTENT. If you can't find 30-40 minutes at one time in your schedule, break it up into 10-15 minute increments - it's the cumulative effect that counts. (2, 3)

R = Reduce Your Risk! Know your personal and family medical history. Certain medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, and lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking, and sleeping less than 7 or more than 9 hours per night all are known to increase the risk of having cancer. Vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin D is a big one) can also increase your cancer risk. Make an appointment with a physician to review all of your potential risk factors, and then formulate a plan to reduce your risk.

E = Eat to Live! Think of food as preventative medicine. A high plant-based diet is a key component of living a G.R.E.A.T. life. Set a goal to "eat the rainbow" of colorful fruits and vegetables each week. Plants with higher color content have higher anti-oxidant activity, and anti-oxidants inhibit cancer cell growth. Some great cancer-preventing foods include dark leafy greens (like kale and spinach), flax seeds, and pomegranate juice. It's important also to consider organic produce, because pesticides are known to increase the risk of certain cancers like lymphoma. Look for foods labeled non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) - genetically modified foods have been shown to cause tumors in animals. For more information on non-GMO foods visit http://www.nongmoproject.org.

A = Add Meaning! Seek out activities that bring meaning to your life. Start a garden, begin a spiritual practice, meditate or try yoga. (In fact, yoga is a great way to get the "G" and "A" of a G.R.E.A.T. life at once!) Spend more time with loved ones. Find a community of people who share your interests and passions; volunteer. Studies have shown that people who have support and meaning in their lives live longer!

T = Think Green! Examine your environment. Are you surrounding yourself with unhealthy chemicals and pesticides in your home? Look at your cleaning products, air fresheners, perfumes and cosmetics. Do you know if they contain ingredients that may be harmful to your health? A few simple changes can greatly enhance your health and wellness. Consider an air purifier or essential oils instead of chemical-based air fresheners. Choose one room of your house at a time and make a switch to health-promoting products.

References
1.    Harrison, Pam. "Lifestyle Changes Could Prevent 50% of Common Cancers." Medscape Medical News, 29 August 2012.
2.    Rivera, Juan A. "Physical Activity Goals and Recommendations." Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. National Public Health Institute Mexico.
3.    International Journal of Cancer, December 15, 2007.

About Dr. Heather Paulson and Dr. Elizabeth Rice

Drs. Paulson and Rice run The Life Center (TLC) at Arizona Natural Health Center, where they provide comprehensive natural cancer treatment, after-remission care and support for cancer patient caregivers. They work with patients who are receiving conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, as well as those patients who are not candidates for conventional treatment. For more information, visit http://www.aznaturalhealth.com.

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