Things you can do & eat to prevent cancer

February 5, 2010 4:56:14 PM PST
Get advice from the head of radiation oncology at John Muir Hospital.

The American Cancer Society recommends a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources.

  • Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

  • Eat 5 or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

  • Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains.

  • Limit intake of processed and red meats.
The emphasis is on plant sources, and the recommendation Dr. Levine has is five fruits and vegetables a day. Examples include half a cup of mixed fresh fruit (or any type of fruit with an emphasis on berries of all kinds), one half cup of leafy greens or other veggies like broccoli, one half cup of cooked veggies, three-quarters of a cup 100% vegetable or fruit juice (without added sugar) or one quarter cup dried fruit.

Stay away from sodas, drink plenty of water and alcohol should be moderate. Example of moderate: one drink for women a day and two for men--a drink is 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or one half ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits. Limit processed meats, (focus on fresh) including limiting intake of red meat which should always be lean. Lastly, whole grains instead of processed (refined) grains. For example, whole grain bread over plain white bread and whole grain pasta over regular pasta.

The American Cancer Society recommend 30 minutes of vigorous activity like aerobic activity 30 or more minutes (45 to 60 minutes) 5 days a week for adults as a way to prevent cancer. According to Dr. John Milner, chief of NCI Nutritional Science Research Group, "?30% of cancers relate to dietary habits and a third could be eliminated if we provide or design the ideal diet."

Dr. Levine says obesity is something everyone should be aware of. It can cause many diseases, including cancer and many folks are obese and don't even know it. The best thing is to check and look at the chart to make sure you are in the safe weight range.

American Cancer Society's East Bay Gala
Mardi Gras: Masks Music and Mission
February 13, 2010
Blackhawk Museum in Danville
Festivities will include signature Cajun/Creole dishes, tasty libations, live zydeco music and dancing, fortune tellers, games of chance, silent and live auctions, beads and masks and so much more. For more information including ticket price and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

The American Cancer Society is the Official Sponsor of Birthdays! Call 1-800-ACS-2345 for more information, questions, concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

About Dr. Michael Levine - Medical Director, Radiation Oncology, John Muir Health
Dr. Michael Levine graduated from Medical School at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1974. He completed his internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco in 1975 and his residency and fellowship in Radiation Oncology at UCSF in 1978.

Upon completion of his training at UCSF, he began the practice of Radiation Oncology at the former Mt. Diablo Hospital in Concord in 1978 and joined the staff at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek in 1979. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology in the field of Therapeutic Radiology.

Dr. Levine was a consultant on a project of the National Cancer Institute entitled "Exploratory Studies in Psycho Social Rehabilitation of Cancer Patients" from 1976 to 1977. During his tenure at Mt. Diablo Hospital (now John Muir-Concord), he has served as Chair of Radiation Oncology, Chair of the Cancer Committee and many others, while playing a significant role in the development of the Cancer Center at John Muir. He was also a member and officer of the Mt. Diablo Hospital Foundation board for many years. Dr. Levine has been a generous donor to the Concord Campus. He is currently Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at John Muir Health.

He is a member of the Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the Northern California Radiotherapy Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the John Muir Health Foundation and currently is the Chair of the Campaign Cabinet for the Capital Campaign for John Muir Health. He has volunteered for the Children's Hospital of Oakland Hill Branch Winter Ball since 1996.

The doctor began his long-time association with the American Cancer Society (ACS) as an ACS fellow at UCSF. He served on the Contra Costa County Board of Directors (now the Volunteer Leadership Council) for fifteen years in many roles, including serving as President. During this time he spearheaded the initial ACS led coalition which resulted in the enactment of historic first-time ordinances to control smoking in restaurants, the workplace and all public places in Contra Costa County. While volunteering at the ACS California Division, he assisted in developing and implementing many essential ACS programs such as "I Can Cope," "Look Good ? Feel Better," and "Road to Recovery". He also served as Chair of the Service Committee, and as a member of the following committees: Professional Education, Public Issues, Finance, Cancer Control, and Executive Committee. Dr Levine also served on the Tobacco and Cancer Task Force.

Besides being active in the cancer community, he lends his singing voice to the Family Club of San Francisco and enjoys playing piano and attending the San Francisco Opera. He has coached Little League, boy's soccer and CYO Basketball. Dr. Levine is a member of the U.S. Polo Association and the Central Valley Polo Club. He resides here in the East Bay with his wife and four children.