Lifestyle Factors and Cancer – Episode 191

Lifestyle Factors and Cancer

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Featuring: Carolyn Lammersfeld

Published: November 23, 2019

The kinds of food we eat might affect our probability for developing cancer. On this episode, Carolyn Lammersfeld, Vice President of Integrative Care Services at CTCA, offers simple steps to decrease our risk for cancer through basic food choices.


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Show Notes:

Carolyn Lammersfeld, Vice President of Integrative Care Services at CTCA, discussed with Rev. Percy McCray ways individuals may modify their risk factor for developing cancer. “I find it encouraging that there are things we can control and try and change,” Ms. Lammersfeld said.

They first addressed implications of obesity, the presence of excess body fat that may have a negative effect on health and potentially the development of some cancers. “Fat cells produce hormones like estrogen, and estrogen then can cause higher levels of insulin and other inflammatory agents…when you lose weight, you decrease the fat cells and then decrease the circulating amount of estrogen, insulin and other inflammatory agents that can cause changes to our cells.”

Ms. Lammersfeld also explained a healthy diet that might reduce the risk of cancer includes more plant-based nutrients than animal protein or processed foods. “Trying to incorporate more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans… all those foods have fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, which may have impact on our cells…to keep them healthy and prevent damage.” Making lifestyle changes can feel overwhelming, so Ms. Lammersfeld encourages listeners to work toward “taking small steps and building from there.”


  • “By addressing a number of the things—weight, eating more of the plant-based foods— you’re at least…potentially reducing your risk of developing many cancers.”
  • “If you’re thinking about making some changes…start with small changes and build from there.”
  • “I think people…need…a plan that fits their lifestyle and that will help them achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.”

Learn More:

How the Type of Cancer May Determine Your Diet