Lifestyle choices can raise risk of cancer

February 12, 2019

GOSHEN, Ind. – Most of us are unaware that obesity and high alcohol consumption are key risk factors for cancer. In fact, obesity will soon overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of cancer in the U.S. 

“Obesity is associated with increased risk for breast, colon, prostate, uterine cancers,” said Leonard Henry, MD, MBA, FACS, Medical Director and Surgical Oncologist at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. “Those are four of the top five cancers we diagnose. The other is lung cancer.”

A healthy lifestyle has significant potential to protect against certain cancers, according to Ingrid Bowser, MS, APN-BC, ADM-BC, AOCNP, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner. Not surprisingly, the most critical and well-known lifestyle factor is to not smoke or quit. Other critical healthy habits include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Obesity-related cancers are on the rise in young adults.
  • Staying physically active: A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Fill your plate with two-thirds or more of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans or other plant-based foods. Keep beef, pork, chicken or other animal proteins to a third or less of your plate.
  • Limiting how much alcohol you drink: Keep to one drink a day for women or two drinks for men as a limit.

Free wellness screening
Goshen Health will host a wellness screening event on February 14, 2019, that includes a free body mass index assessment. This screening can indicate whether your weight is a concern that needs your attention. It will be held at the Community Wellness High Park building on the second floor: 1721 South Main St., Goshen, IN 46526.

All screenings are by appointment only, no walk-ins. For more information or to schedule your appointment, call (574) 364-2496 or visit