• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Preventing cancer with lifestyle changes

February 15, 2018

More than 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses and approximately 600,000 deaths from cancer are projected for 2018, according to the American Cancer Society. What if you could reduce your risk of cancer by changing your daily habits? A recent study suggests that's possible. Dr. Timothy Moynihan, an oncologist at Mayo Clinic, says many cancer deaths could be prevented by behavioral changes.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Don’t smoke, avoid too much sun, eat a healthy diet and get moving – all ways to reduce the risk of cancer.

Dr. Moynihan says lifestyle choices can affect our risk of cancer. He says, "It looks like somewhere between 45 and 50 percent of cancer deaths are due to factors that are potentially modifiable.”

Lung cancer due to smoking tops the list.

“We also know that use of alcohol, especially heavy use of alcohol, when you combine it with other things, such as smoking, clearly increases the risk of things like head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, other types of cancer, more so than does just smoking by itself," says Dr. Moynihan.

Being up to date on vaccinations is important, too.

"Cervical cancer, anal cancer, liver cancer are all associated with various forms of infection, and we know we can have a dramatic effect on several of these by getting your routine immunizations at the right time,” he says.

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