New guidelines issued in America urge doctors to talk to their cancer patients about exercising and eating healthily to prevent cancer coming back.
Being overweight or obese has long been tied to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including bowel, kidney and pancreatic. In fact, nearly half of all cancers diagnosed in the UK each year are caused by poor lifestyle choices.
But there is significantly less evidence of the effects of diet and exercise on people who have already had cancer.
Now, guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians will urge doctors in the US to talk to their cancer patients about eating a healthy diet and exercising to prevent cancer returning.
In the last five years there have been more than 100 studies in the US involving cancer survivors, many showing that exercise and or a healthy diet was associated with lower cancer recurrence rates and longer survival.
One study of breast cancer survivors, for instance, found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish was associated with reduced mortality compared with a diet full of refined grains, processed red meats, desserts, and high-fat dairy.
Colleen Doyle, the American Cancer Society’s director of nutrition and physical activity, said:
"We've got enough data now to make these recommendations."
The report also offers specific advice tailored to individual cancers, including breast, colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, haematological, lung, prostate, gastrointestinal, and head and neck.
For patients in the UK, Macmillan Cancer Support offer advice on eating healthily after recovering from cancer.
If you want to be covered for cancer treatment on your private medical insurance, make sure you compare health insurance policies with full cancer cover.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012