About 7.6 million people die from cancer every year worldwide, and 12.7 million new cases are diagnosed. According to a new research report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund it has been stated that about a third of some of the most common forms of cancer could be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment and 30% to 40% of cancer cases could be prevented. Many cases of cancer could be prevented if more people started eating a varied and healthy diet, started a regimen of physical activity, limited alcohol intake, and maintained a healthy weight.
Cancer risk is related to genes and exposure to several environmental toxins and so with little changes in the lifestyle you can hugely reduce the risk of various cancers. At the same time never forget that most cancers don’t develop overnight or out of nowhere and so it is definitely possible to prevent it. Cancer prevention is easier than you think. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can make a huge difference to your health and drastically reduce your risk of many types of cancer.
Here are 14 cancer prevention tips.
1. Avoid tobacco
Using any type of tobacco can increase your chance of having cancer in future. In fact, excessive smoking has been linked to various types of cancer including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. Also consumption of tobacco has been linked to oral cavity cancer and pancreas cancer. Those who are exposed to secondhand smoke from a smoker or a lit cigarette, pipe or cigar may also increase their risk of lung cancer. This smoke contains more than 60 known carcinogens which interrupt normal cell development. This interference is what ignites cancer development. In fact 90% of lung cancer cases are related to smoking. So, saying no to tobacco in any form is one of the most important health decisions you can make in order to prevent lung cancer.
2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
When your diet plan includes lots of fruits and vegetables, then it will automatically reduce your risk of suffering from different types of cancer. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily and other foods from plant sources such as whole grains and beans. At the same time avoid the processed versions. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables greatly reduces your risk of developing cancer and many other conditions. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, which help repair our damaged cells. Green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are your best bet to help prevent cancer. Studies also show that dark fruits, like blueberries and grapes along with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have anti-cancer properties and hence such foods are good at preventing cancer, according to numerous studies. To know about foods that can prevent cancer, check www.top10homeremedies.com.
3. Eat fiber enriched foods
Diet should be high in foods with fiber as it may reduce the risk of lung cancer developing in smokers and people who have been heavily exposed to asbestos at work. Eating enough fiber also reduces the risk of bowel cancer. Fiber-rich foods include wholegrain pasta, bread, breakfast cereals and rice. Pulses, fruit and vegetables are also good sources of fiber.
4. Limit fat
Although meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc, there is evidence that too much of red processed meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer. Also red meat is higher in calories and may increase the risk of overweight or obesity which in turn, increases cancer risk. Red meat includes beef, pork and lamb and processed meat includes bacon, sausages, salami and ham. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. Also try to have more of poultry or fish and use olive oil instead of butter for preparing your dish.
5. Stop excessive drinking
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly increases your risk factor for many types of cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to oral cancer, cancer of the voice box (larynx) or pharynx (back of the mouth), bowel cancer (especially in men), liver cancer and breast cancer (in women). The risk of increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you have been drinking regularly. Studies suggest that men who consume 2 alcoholic drinks per day and women who have 1 alcoholic drink per day significantly increase their risk factors for certain types of cancer. Women shouldn’t regularly drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day, and men shouldn’t regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units a day.
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy and normal weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. High body weight, obesity and being overweight also raise the risk of several other health problems also such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol and so on. For maintaining a healthy body weight you need to follow a strict diet plan, drink plenty of water and also you need to do regular physical activities and exercises.
7. Do regular exercise
Regular physical exercise counts, too when it comes to reducing the risk of various types of cancer. Physical activity is recommended for people of all ages as a means to reduce risks for certain types of cancers and other non-communicable diseases. In addition to helping you maintain normal body weight, regular physical exercise on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. For various health benefits, The American Cancer Society recommends to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least half an hour of physical activity in your daily routine and if you can do more, even better.
8. Protect yourself from the sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer but it can be easily prevented. Skin cancer can be prevented by protecting yourself from the harmful UV rays of the sun. You can prevent skin cancer by avoiding midday sun by staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. Whenever you need to be outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible and do not forget to apply a sunscreen on the exposed skin area, wear protective clothes and wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat. To prevent cancer, avoid tanning beds and sunlamps as these are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
9. Get immunized
Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against cancer. Some of the immunization includes Hepatitis B vaccine which is recommended for certain high-risk adults like adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids. Also Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as cancers of the head and neck.
10. Practice safe sex
Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky sexual behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. Always practice safe sex, limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV and so practicing safe sex is highly recommended.
11. Get regular medical care
Knowing your family history of cancer is important to properly assess your risk factor for certain types of cancer. Cancers like breast, colon, ovarian, and possibly other types can be hereditary. If you know that a certain type of cancer runs in your family, let your doctor know. Genetic testing and counseling is available and may be recommended based on your family’s medical history. Go for regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast. If cancer is discovered early then treatment is most likely to be successful.
12. Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals
Chemicals in the workplace may increase your risk of developing many types of cancer, including kidney cancer and bladder cancer. If you are exposed to fumes, dust, chemicals, etc. in the workplace, you have a legal right to know what you are being exposed to. Gasoline, diesel exhaust, arsenic, beryllium, vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products and mustard gas are all carcinogens and can be found in some work environments. Talk to your employer about limiting exposure. Work place safety among those who work with radiation and with asbestos is important and their exposure for a longer period of time increases the chance of different types of lung cancer.
13. Get screened for cancer regularly
Cancer screening tests can be useful not only in detecting cancer, but also help in preventing different types of cancer. Screening tests like the colonoscopy and Pap smear can detect abnormal cellular changes before they turn cancerous. The key to their effectiveness, however, is that they should be done regularly. Other cancer screening tests are available and may be useful for early detection, but not necessarily cancer prevention. Prostate cancer screening through digital rectal exams and PSA tests can help detect prostate cancer early. Mammograms and other imaging tools are also recommended to detect breast cancer in women. So, if you have a family history of cancer, then you must go for screening tests for cancer as it can lead to earlier diagnosis in specific cases. Early diagnosis may lead to extended life.
14. Don’t share needles
Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which can increase the risk of liver cancer. People can also get HIV if the equipment used for body piercings and tattoos is not sterilized. The best way to avoid infections is to use a new (sterile) needle and syringe each and every time you inject. Syringes are not designed to be used more than once. Never share a needle, syringe, cooker or cotton with anyone. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.
To conclude, the above mentioned tips on cancer prevention can hugely reduce your risk of various types of cancer. Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.