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News : Health Dec 4, 2012 - 5:01:15 AM

Effective lifestyle habits promote cancer prevention

By Western Connecticut Health Network

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Jennifer Carreiro Zikria, M.D., Danbury Hospital Department of Medicine, Section of Oncology/Hematology and a physician member of the Western Connecticut Medical Group, offers the following advice on common concerns related to cancer risk.

“Although we cannot change our genetic makeup, by not smoking, eating healthier, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and being more physically active, we can all help reduce the risk of cancer or the chance of cancer recurrence.

A diet rich in plant sources, offering fiber and lean proteins will always be a better choice than one loaded with fat, sugar and simple carbohydrates. Exercise is key to avoiding excess weight, which adds to cancer risk over time.

Personal Safety is also important, including avoidance of known toxins (asbestos, secondhand smoke) in the environment and minimizing sun exposure with sunscreen or by covering up.

One of the best ways to address cancer is by promoting early detection through regular medical care, including the recommended screenings such as mammography or a prostate exam, to ensure that any concerns are addressed when they are more likely to respond favorably to treatment.

Living a full life with or without cancer starts with taking care of yourself and establishing a relationship with a primary care physician who understand your health history and will monitor your needs throughout life, said Dr. Carreiro Zikria.

For more information or a physician referral, please call 1-800-482-1387.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region’s premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the two hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes the following affiliates:

Western Connecticut Medical Group, an integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
Western Connecticut Home Care, an agency for home care and community health services
The Western Connecticut Health Network Foundations
emergency medical and Level II trauma services
an occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry
a nationally renowned Biomedical Research Institute

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women’s health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders, weight-loss (bariatric) surgery, and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for neonatology with a Level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit and accredited sleep disorder centers. Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns. Danbury Hospital was named a Top 100 Hospital by US News and World reports in 2012; a and a Top 100 for Value by Cleverly and Associates. New Milford Hospital is well known as a Planetree hospital and for its Plow to Plate, farm to table food program. For more information, visit,; and share your comments with us or

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