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The importance of a healthy lifestyle to beating cancer

The importance of a healthy lifestyle to beating cancer 

Evidence is now accumulating that lifestyle and diet are an important component in the cause, and an essential part of the management of, cardiovascular disease, prostate disease, and many cancers.

More and more men nowadays are overweight and the typical “pot belly” obesity that they exhibit is strongly linked with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus.  Cholesterol levels in males are also often too high, carrying increased risks of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Obesity has also been proposed as a risk factor for prostate cancer. Encouragement to adopt a more sensible diet and to increase the amount of regular exercise may therefore be in order.


If men feel uneasy with this new stance they might be encouraged by the recent news that men who undertook more than 3 hours of vigorous exercise per week reduced their risk of developing advanced prostate cancer or dying from the disease by around 70%. If cholesterol is significantly raised there is good evidence that lowering it with a statin will result in a significant reduction in cardiovascular risk.

More care needed

These observations lead to the conclusion that men need to take more care of themselves. The following reasons go someway to addressing the reason why men live four or five years less than women:

  • Men tend to take more risks with their health than women and to consult their doctors later and less often than women.
  • Whilst both sexes have shown annual improvements in life expectancy women continue to live longer than men, but the gap has been closing; over the past 27 years the gender gap has narrowed from 6.0 years to 4.2 years.
  • Men are generally more aggressive than women and more competitive.
  • Sexual drive.
  • Unwillingness to admit weaknesses.
  • Failure to seek help.
  • Lack of work/life balance.
  • Over-indulgence.
  • Risk taking.
  • A natural greater susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.
  • Higher mortality from most cancers.
  • Alcohol excess.
  • Men smoke more than women.
  • More effective suicide.
  • Suffer more from HIV/Aids.
  • Too much stress at work and home.

How can men do more for themselves?

Whilst some of the above activities may be fun and it may be difficult to change lifestyles, clearly men need to take better care of themselves. We do not necessarily mean by completely stopping drinking or cutting out all risk taking activities. However, by having a better work/home balance and attempting to be less proud by seeking out help when necessary, men can significantly improve their standard of living leading to a possibility of a longer life span.

For a consultation or book a health screen to better understand your state of health, why not contact ToHealth on 0207531 5444. Alternatively, you can email

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