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What We’re Reading: Healthy Living Could Prevent Half of Deaths from Cancer

In a recent study published by JAMA Oncology, researchers compared two participant groups – one low-risk, with those who led a healthy lifestyle, and one high-risk, with those who did not. After looking at more than two decades of data, they estimated that healthy lifestyle choices could potentially prevent 20 to 40 percent of cancer cases and about half of all cancer deaths.

The factors that distinguished low-risk participants from those that were high-risk were relatively simple: drinking little to no alcohol, not smoking, exercising regularly and maintaining an optimal BMI between 18.5 and 27.5 – all of which are considered important components of preventative care.

These statistics are particularly meaningful to the concierge physician, whose focus on preventing disease starts with having more time to talk to patients about the importance of adopting healthy habits.  One of the main factors driving the decision to transition to concierge medicine for our ‘special docs’ and others is the ability to forge a strong partnership with patients and develop an individualized plan that goes far beyond treating acute illness to the heart of long-term wellness.

In traditional practices, physicians often have a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes to spend with each patient…a visit that rarely allows enough time to go beyond simply prescribing treatments. In a concierge medicine model, physicians have more time to talk – and really listen – to their patients, understand their lifestyles and work together to eliminate as many risk factors as possible by encouraging the right choices on a daily basis.

As concierge physician Monica Sarang, MD reflects: “Throughout my years in practice, I’ve always felt that the time I spend listening to patients and working together to determine the best course of action is the key to early diagnosis and treatment. We are building a partnership that ultimately improves outcomes.”

Physicians, what are your thoughts about these new statistics? What are some ways you interact with your patients to encourage healthier living? Share your comments and stories with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. We want to hear from you!

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