Things to do now to prevent cancer later

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year in the U.S. and nearly 600,000 people die from it. With advances in technology and knowledge in the medical field, cancer is no longer a death sentence and there are things you can do to prevent getting it later.

From what you eat, to what you do, to where you live -- all of these things impact your chances of getting cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol consumption is linked to five percent of all new cancers. And pay attention to what you eat. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts protect against DNA damage that turns cells cancerous.

Dr. Ajay Goel says, “In some instances, they function even better than some of the anti-cancer drugs we are using right now.”

But milk and other dairy products are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. A physician’s health study says eating too much of them may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

The world health organization warns that the daily consumption of even one hot dog or a few strips of bacon increases cancer risk by 18 percent.

A study in the international journal of cancer showed a connection between esophageal cancer and hot beverages. Consuming a beverage such as hot tea at temperatures higher than 140 degrees causes thermal damage to the cells that line the esophagus and may be responsible for this increased risk. Where you live may also play a role in your risk.

A new study out of Hong Kong suggests air pollution is also associated with increased risk for breast, liver, and pancreatic cancers.

People who eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta, soft drinks, and fruit juices are more likely to develop colon cancer than those who consume mostly whole grains and complex carbohydrates.