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Global Network

Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Aim to be at the lower end of the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range.

Maintaining a healthy weight brings an array of health benefits. As well as making us feel better, it also means that we are less likely to develop not only cancer, but also other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

We also know that where we store extra weight affects cancer risk. Scientists have discovered that carrying excess fat around our waists can be particularly harmful – it acts like a ‘hormone pump’ releasing estrogen into the bloodstream as well as raising levels of other hormones in the body. This is strongly linked to colon cancer and probably to cancers of the pancreas and endometrium (lining of the uterus), as well as breast cancer (in postmenopausal women).

See Recommendations 2 and 3 for strategies for weight management.

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