Simple Past: FCMMG–2009
Health for Life
Your Lifestyle, Your Genes, And Cancer
Now research explores the complex interactions that cause our most dreaded disease. A look into some of the steps you can take to reduce your risk.
We’ve known for a long time that a high-fat diet,
obesity and lack of exercise can increase the risk of
developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, two
conditions that affect millions of Americans. What we
05 are finding out now is that those same lifestyle factors
also play an important role in cancer. That’s the bad
news. The good news is that you can do something about
your lifestyle. If we grew thinner, exercised regularly,
avoided diets rich in red meat (substituting poultry, fish
10 or vegetable sources of protein) and ate diets
rich in fruits and vegetables, and stopped using
tobacco, we would prevent 70 percent of all cancers.
The strongest evidence of the importance of lifestyle
in cancer is that most common cancers arise at
15 dramatically different rates in different parts of the
globe. Several cancers that are extremely common
in the United States – colon, prostate and breast
cancer – are relatively rare in other parts of the
world, occurring only 1/10th or 1/20th as often. Equally
20 striking, when people migrate from other parts of the
world to the United States, within a generation their cancer
rates approach those of us whose families have lived in
this country for a long time. Even if people in other parts
of the world stay put, but adopt U.S. lifestyle, their risk of
25 cancer rises; as Japanese have embraced Western habits,
their rates of colon, breast and prostate cancer have
What is it about our lifestyle that raises the risk of
many types of cancer? The main culprits seem to be the
30 Western diet, obesity and physical inactivity. While we’ve
known about the importance of tobacco and cancer for
more than 50 years, we are just beginning to understand
how diet, a healthy body weight and regular exercise can
protect us against cancer.
35 A striking example of the profound influence of diet
was reported last summer in The Journal of the American
Medical Association. Doctors determined the eating habits
of patients with colon cancer in the years following surgical
removal of the cancer. Over the next five years, those
40 who ate a traditional Western diet had a threefold greater
likelihood of developing a recurrence of the disease than did
those who ate a “prudent” diet rich in fruits and vegetables
and including only small amounts of red meat. How had
diet affected these patients? The surgery clearly had not
45 removed all their colon-cancer cells: prior to the surgery,
some cells had already spread from the primary tumor.
The Western diet had somehow stimulated the growth of
these small deposits of residual cancer cells.
Obesity is the second most important factor in causing
50 cancer in Western populations after tobacco, and there is
evidence that maintaining a healthy weight is protective
against the disease. A study by the American Cancer
Society in 2003 found that the heaviest people, in
comparison with the leanest, had a significantly increased
55 risk of death from 10 different kinds of cancer in men,
and from 12 different kinds in women. The most extreme
examples were liver cancer in men (nearly fivefold
increased risk) and uterine cancer in women (more than
sixfold increased risk).
BERG, Robert A.; KOMAROFF, Anthony L. Health for life: your lifestyle, your genes and cancer. Newsweek, Jun. 30, 2008, p. 39-40. (Adapted).
01. The text deals with the relation between cancer and:
A) other diseases like diabetes.
B) the influence of diet in one’s lifestyle.
C) the lifestyle of people in the USA.
D) an evidence of its increase in old people.
02. Up to recently, it has been well known that obesity, high-fat diet and lack of exercise:
A) are important factors in increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
B) are good strategies for avoiding the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
C) are conditions for the developing of various kinds of heart disease.
D) have become a very common thing in the world’s lifestyle.
03. According to the text, millions of Americans:
A) are obese and follow a high-fat diet.
B) have diabetes due to lack of exercise.
C) run the risk of developing heart disease.
D) suffer from heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
04. The alert the article is raising at this point is that:
A) people who have contracted heart disease or diabetes are apt to contract cancer.
B) high-fat diet, obesity and lack of exercise increase the risk of developing cancer.
C) obese people who have cancer and do not exercise are likely to die of heart disease.
D) the risk of developing cancer is much higher than the risk of contracting heart disease.
05. Simple Past: One of the advices the article is sending people is:
A) to stop eating too much poultry.
B) not to mix vegetable with fish.
C) to avoid diets rich in red meat.
D) not to eat too much fish.
06. Simple Past: The text states that 70 percent of all cancers could be prevented if people:
A) had a better diet and smoked less.
B) ate more red meat and protein.
C) exercised while eating fruit.
D) used tobacco more often.
07. According to the text, one of the following is NOT among the most common cancers in the United States:
08. Also according to the text, some cancers that are common in the United States, in other parts of the world:
A) have become relatively rare.
B) do not exist altogether.
C) are spreading quickly.
D) are equally common.
09. A curious circumstance is that people from other parts of the world migrate to the United States, their cancer rates:
A) reach 1/10th of the rates of their original countries.
B) come close to the Japanese who stayed in their own country.
C) keep the same rate as they enjoyed in their countries.
D) approach the rate of American families in just one generation.
10. Simple Past: The most important factor in causing cancer in the US population is, in the CORRECT order,
A) tobacco and obesity.
B) exercise and obesity.
C) low-fat diet and tobacco.
D) obesity and heart disease.
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