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How to avoid the soon-to-be number one killer
2019-01-11

 

 

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Jan 07, 2019  |  Loma Linda, California, United States  |  Mark E. Reeves, director of the Loma Linda University Cancer Center.

The death rate from heart disease has been dropping for the past few decades, and it will soon be overtaken by the malady that’s now the second-biggest killer in the United States: cancer.

While I’m grateful for the medical community’s cancer treatment innovations, increased prevention measures and improved screenings, make no mistake — cancer is still a huge problem in our society. It causes approximately 600,000 deaths each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

We’ve seen a 25 percent reduction in the cancer death rate since 1991, but death rates from heart disease have been dropping even faster. U.S. health officials estimate that cancer will kill more people annually than anything else starting around 2020. 

Here are some of the top ways to avoid developing cancer:

Quit smoking. It actually turns out that most of the reductions in cancer deaths have occurred because we as a society have decreased our amount of smoking. 

Manage weight. There are few drugs that will reduce cancer risk as much as weight loss. This tells us that obesity is an enormous contributor to cancer.

Get screened. There are many types of screenings for different forms of cancer. Low-dose CT that looks at the lungs, for example, can reduce lung cancer mortality by 20 percent. That’s an enormous drop.


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