Heart Health Goes Hand in Hand with Cancer Prevention

Yesterday, my friend and I were talking about the relation between heart disease and cancer, since his father has a history of both heart disease and colon cancer. After all, heart disease and cancer are the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States, actually much of the world too. And I was thinking about how to protect yourself from both heart disease and cancer at the same time. You know, it’s the “kill two birds with one stone” strategy.

Heart coronary artery saphenous vein graftsCancer_4253583419_f2fd5a7a24_mFirst, I had to ask myself, “What do heart disease and cancer have in common?

4. Heart disease and cancer all have a genetic factor. Well, that’s true, yet the genetic factor only affects small percentage of population, and is beyond our control.

3. Heart disease and cancer are associated with aging. While aging is inevitable, how you age inside and outside is really up to you nowadays.

2. Heart disease and cancer have been linked to inflammation. Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammation plays an important role in the development of heart disease and cancer. The body produces elevated level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in response to inflammation, and studies show that CRP, a marker of inflammation, is tied to risks of developing heart attack, stroke and cancer.

1. Heart disease and cancer are significantly influenced by poor lifestyle factors, including obesity, dietary, and other behavioral habits. Everybody knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but not everybody is aware of smoking as a common causative factor of several other types of cancer. Many folks don’t know that smoking also damages your arteries — the pipelines of your life! Excess body fat contributes to ~100,000 cancer cases in U.S. each year, which we can control, we can prevent!

Are you heart-healthy and breast/prostate healthy?

Photo credits: Heart by Patrick.lynch; Cancer by GE Healthcare.