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7 Things individuals living with diabetes can do to help lower their cancer risk 

April is National Cancer Control Month, and some people with type 2 diabetes have also been shown to have a higher risk of developing several types of cancer. However, it’s important to note that having type 2 diabetes does not necessarily mean that someone will develop cancer.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the following list of things that people with diabetes can do to help lower their risk of cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of cancer, so it is important to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
  • Follow a healthy diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help reduce cancer risk.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, so it is important to limit alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is a leading cause of cancer, so quitting smoking is crucial for reducing cancer risk.
  • Be physically active: Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, so it is important to be physically active for at least 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) per week.
  • Get regular cancer screenings: Early detection is key to successful cancer treatment, so it is important to get regular cancer screenings as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Manage blood glucose levels: People with diabetes should work with their healthcare provider to manage their blood glucose levels to reduce the risk of cancer.

Managing stress though a variety of strategies including staying connected to others, therapy, activity, meditation, breathing and yoga can heal the mind and body and reduce cancer risk.

It’s important to note that these recommendations are not only beneficial for people with diabetes but also for the general population.

Author: Jennie Dyke, BS, RN, CDCES | CCS Health