By Tanya Shelburne, Vice President of Program Development
If you’ve been following the Indianapolis Colts, you know that (Andrew) Luck is their best strategy.
A recent study has indicated that luck plays a big role in the chance that you’ll get cancer. However, countless other studies show that people do have a lot of control over their chance of getting cancer as well as dying from it. About one-third of all cancer deaths are tied to tobacco, another third are tied to obesity, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity and the rest are linked to genetics, environment and other factors that are out of people’s control.
“Instead of focusing on the last third, at Little Red Door we think the best strategy is to control what you can,” said Vice President of Program Development Tanya Shelburne. “A healthy lifestyle isn’t a surefire way to avoid cancer, but it can at least decrease your risk of getting the disease.”
New studies about risk factors leading to cancer are being published all the time, but there is proven evidence to show that you can at least lower your risk by following these strategies: eat a balanced diet, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid tobacco products.
Those habits will not only affect your risk of getting cancer, but will also increase your chances of survival if you are diagnosed as well as lower your risk of reoccurrence. So if you follow a healthy lifestyle and still get diagnosed with cancer, your tolerance of treatment and outcomes may be much better than if you were not already practicing healthy habits.
The same habits that affect your chance of getting cancer can also be tied to heart disease and diabetes, two of the top causes of death in the U.S.
“Know what is within your power to change and change it and let go of the rest,” Shelburne said. “Here at Little Red Door, we want to empower people to make changes to their lifestyle that can not only impact their risk of getting cancer, but also other diseases. Let’s leave ‘luck’ where it belongs…on the football field!”
At Little Red Door, we educate people about how to lower their risk for cancer. We teach cooking classes to cancer patients and survivors and offer yoga classes every Tuesday at our Door to Wellness program.