ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — A healthy diet and weight, regular exercise, sunscreen, and not smoking! These are common ways to reduce your cancer risk. But there could be some other things or medications which could increase your risk for cancer. Ivanhoe has details on what you need to know.
Popping an aspirin a day has been shown to keep the heart doctor away, especially for patients who’ve suffered a heart attack or stroke.
Anthony Bavry, MD, a cardiologist formerly of UF Health said, “In those patients, it’s always been assumed that aspirin was beneficial, and it’s widely recommended.”
Even though a daily low dose of aspirin has been found to reduce ovarian cancer risk by 23 percent compared to non-aspirin takers, in people over age 70 the over-the-counter painkiller has been linked to a 20 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with advanced cancer and a 30 percent higher chance of dying from advanced cancer. Also aspirin is not the only medication that can increase cancer risk.
“Certain birth control pills may increase risk of breast cancer while you’re on them,” shared Shelley Tworoger, PhD, from Moffitt Cancer Center.
Permanent hair dyes also have increased cancer risks. A study out of Harvard found that personal use of permanent hair dyes was linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Also those with a sedentary lifestyle were more likely to get cancer over a five-year period. Just 30 minutes of vigorous exercise lowers your cancer risk by 30 percent.
Racism has been found to increase someone’s cancer risk. The American Cancer Society finds that black patients are 40 percent more likely to die from treatable forms of cancer, such as colorectal cancer due to racial disparities in diagnosis and treatment in the U.S. healthcare system.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
PREVENTABLE CANCER RISKS
BACKGROUND: Studies show taking a daily low-dose aspirin could reduce the risk for colorectal, prostate and some cancers that are the hardest to treat. In fact, taking a low-dose aspirin daily could reduce your colon and rectal cancer risks by as much as 50%. A study of recovering breast cancer patients found those who took a daily aspirin for three to five years were 60% less likely to suffer from a recurrence of the disease. The aspirin users also were 71% less likely to die because of breast cancer. Aspirin may slow the spread of lung cancer by 20% to 30% and taking low-dose aspirin each day for more than 10 years could drop stomach cancer deaths by 31%.
RISKS: Inflammation is an important part of the immune system’s healthy response to sickness, injury or disease. Robert S. Bresalier, MD, professor of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at MD Anderson says, “Aspirin reduces the risk of cancer by fighting inflammation, but chronic or prolonged inflammation can create an environment in which cancer thrives.” If cancer is a fire that’s spreading through your cells, chronic inflammation is helping fuel it and aspirin can help cool the fire. “Aspirin blocks the production of the enzymes that increase inflammation in your body and speed or assist the growth of cancer cells,” Bresalier explains. Ultimately, this helps lower cancer risks and/or slows the spread of disease. However, aspirin can have some drawbacks like increased risk of internal bleeding which can be more prevalent among older adults who drink alcohol, have a history of ulcers or take anticoagulant drugs. While bleeding risks are lower among people taking low-dose aspirin compared to those on full-strength versions, aspirin takers are still twice as likely to suffer from life-threatening bleeding compared to those not on aspirin. Low doses of aspirin, or baby aspirin, are generally 81 milligrams, while a regular-strength adult aspirin is typically 325 milligrams.
REDUCING CANCER RISK WITH EXERCISE: New research suggests people who exercise early morning between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. may be less likely to develop cancers than those who exercise later in the day. There is also evidence that a person’s circadian rhythm, or biological processes that affect a person’s sleep-wake cycle, may have links to their chance of developing cancer. Exercising during the day may help improve a person’s circadian rhythm and lessen the adverse effects of disrupted sleep patterns. The researchers looked at 781 women who had breast cancer and also responded to the questionnaire about their physical activity and 504 men who had prostate cancer and provided data about the timing of their exercise. About 7% of the people with breast cancer and 9% of people in the control group undertook most of their exercise in the early morning. About 12.7% of people with prostate cancer and 14% of the control group did early morning exercise. The researchers developed a model that showed the odds of developing breast cancer were potentially 25% lower due to exercising in the morning compared with not exercising. The results showed a similar picture for prostate cancer.
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Bill Levesque Kim Polacek
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