By: Barbara Willenberg, MS, Associate State Nutrition Specialist,
Nutrition Education Program
What's it all about?
- Cancer is the second leading cause of
death in the United States.
- There are many types of cancer, but all
cancers start with a single abnormal cell. Abnormal cells multiply
quickly. They spread to other parts of the body, invading healthy body
tissue and organs.
- Almost half of all cancer deaths can be
prevented with early detection and treatment.
Why worry now, I'm a teenager?
- Good question. Many types of cancer are
related to our lifestyle and teens are forming lifestyle habits they
will keep for life-not all are healthy!
- It's much easier not to start an
unhealthy habit, like smoking, than it is to break it later in
- It's also easier to form a healthy
habit, like using sunscreen, earlier in life before skin has been
What causes my risk for cancer?
- There are many causes for cancer
including smoking, the foods we eat, viruses chemicals, obesity and
exposure to sun.
- As much as one-third of cancer deaths
may relate to how we eat.
- Some cancers seem to run in families-it
is unclear if the link is genetic or a similar lifestyle.
What can I do to prevent cancer?
- Eat your veggies and fruits-at least 5
servings a day. They contain nutrients called antioxidants (like beta
carotene and vitamin C) which protect body cells from cancer.
- Veggies and fruits also contain plant
chemicals which fight cancer-called phytochemicals.
- Fiber-rich foods like whole grains,
beans, fruits and vegetables with their skin and seeds protect you
against colon cancer.
- Limit your fat by drinking skim or 1
percent milk, eating lean cuts of meat and taking the skin off chicken
- Some forms of cancer are linked to
obesity, so maintain a healthy weight by getting about 30 minutes of
physical activity every day.
- Don't smoke.
- To prevent skin cancer, limit your
exposure to sun and use sun-block of at least 15 SPF.
Did you notice????
We can control many of the
things that cause cancer,
like what we eat, smoking and using sunscreen.