The American Association of Cancer Research featured an article detailing how individual suggestions and recommendations can encourage people to actually implement changes that lead to a better lifestyle. Everyone knows that living healthy will decrease the risk of cancer, but it can be difficult to find and address those small issues that hold you back.
Markus Dines Knudsen, Ph.D. Department of Bowel Screening at the Cancer Registry of Norway in Oslo proposed a simple program. Invite volunteers to receive a sigmoidoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure used to screen for colorectal cancer and ask them to complete two lifestyle questionnaires, one before screening and one a year after. Questions looked at several aspects, like smoking status, weight, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and intake of fruits, vegetables, and red or processed meat.
Two groups were established, and at the end of the 12 months differences among them were noticeable. Those who received the individually tailored feedback increased their number of cancer preventive behaviors by 0.11 compared to the control group. Furthermore, individuals that adhered to the “Good habits for a healthier life” program had a significantly larger weight loss of -0.84 kg compared to the control group.
“The benefit of teaching cancer preventive behavior in the setting of population-based screening is that it could increase chances of reaching a major portion of the relevant age group or demographic,” Knudsen said. “At the time of screening, these people may be more responsive to information about cancer prevention”.
The study reaffirms how important it is to be informed when making lifestyle choices and how much of a difference these can make regarding your wellbeing.