Besides quitting smoking, the best way to prevent cancer is: Get to a healthy weight and stay there. Be physically active regularly. Eat healthy foods and limit alcohol consumption.


Each year, about 560 Iowans die of cancer; around one-third of these deaths are linked to weighing too much, physical inactivity and poor diet. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report for 2016 shows 32 percent of adult Iowans are within the medical description of “overweight” or “obese.”


Since 2010, research has shown a link between cancer and diabetes, possibly because the above listed risk factors for cancers (such as colon, liver, pancreas and endometrium) are also risk factors for diabetes. Being active reduces your cancer risk by helping with weight control. Activity helps improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.


The American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society each have free, easy to understand, important information to help you. There are also local diabetes self-management programs. These include a four-week class for only $10 at the Dallas County Hospital, free classes through Mercy and through Telligen, and individual coaching by Hy-Vee dieticians. Call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750 for information on enrollment.