Friday, November 02, 2007

Cancer Avoidance

The Panel of 21 experts, chaired by Sir Michael Marmot of University College, London which published its review of the link between cancer and obesity yesterday was truly startling. I can tell you from personal experience that cancer is no joke. I'd have done a lot to avoid going through the surgery that it meant for me. But I wonder if I could live the life this Panel tells me would reduce the chance of a recurrence by a third. I must become leaner (probably about 2 stone lighter), take more exercise, eat more wholefoods, consume less red meat, eat no processed meat and virtually cut out alcohol.

Sir Michael said that the evidence on the link between colorectal cancer and red meat was now "convincing". And on processed meat even stronger. Now, despite my usual attitude to these sort of scare stories, which is to be sceptical, this specific link to colorectal cancer inevitably makes me sit up and take notice. I have eaten two apples, a banana and an orange today - and over the last few weeks, I have regressed to eating fish whenever we're out. And a lingering back problem has just about cleared upenought o start exercising again this weekend.

But what about the alcohol? I'm not a heavy drinker, but I suppose I drink around two bottles of white wine per week - which is above the recommendations of the Panel. I really enjoy going out for supper and downing a couple of glasses. It would greatly reduce my enjoyment of life if I were to stop. A move in the right direction would lesson the odds. And that's what the Panel's message should be. If you can't do it all, do what you can.


Anonymous said...

Health wise, I thought red wine was better for you?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I believe that the British Heart Foundation have given advice that red wine can be beneficial. It is rather confusing - but 'Everything in moderation' is probably the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Drink red wine then, that way you can feel less guilty about. :)

My mother's excuse each time she opens a bottle (in moderation of course): "wine is good for the heart"!

Glyn Davies said...

I suppose it depends if you want to not die of cancer, or not die of a heart attack!

Valleys Mam said...

or just die from lack of breath.
I am fed up of all these reorts ,one contradicts another.
I agree with you Glyn everything in moderation. I would also add buy it locally

Glyn Davies said...

vm - good point. Buy local. I think it was the specific reference to colorectal cancer that made this one l bit more resonant