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Friday, 13 July 2012 10:56

Reduce risk of cancer through Lifestyle Modification

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Adopting few changes in your daily lifestyle reduces your cancer risk to great extent.

shutterstock_24737392-healthy lifestyle new12 julyCancer is a most deadly disease of 21st centuries, as there is no permanent cure still available. According to World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet, cancer-related deaths accounts for 7.6 million in 2008 worldwide. This number can be kept elevated up to estimated 13.1 million in 2030.

A published review suggest that over 40% of cancers due to faulty lifestyle, that means we can reduce the risk of cancer upto 40% by adopting healthy life style.
Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancers are leading causes for cancer-related deaths each year. Faulty lifestyle pattern is a main concern for such global burden of cancer. WHO outlined that overweight, low intake of fruits and vegetables; physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use all are responsible for about 30% of total cancer deaths. Exposure to carcinogens, a cancer-causing agent, is high due to faulty lifestyle.

This makes the ‘change in our lifestyle pattern’ as a prime step in cancer prevention, as medicine always believes in “Prevention is better than cure." When it comes to change in lifestyle pattern; adopting good habits is not only the sufficient,  staying away from bad one is many times more important.

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Say no to tobacco
Smoking is hazardous for a smoker as well as a non-smoker due to direct and passive exposure to tobacco respectively. Smoking is a main cause for cancer of lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth and many more. According to National Cancer Institute (NCI), tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which 250 are harmful for body, out of which 69 causes cancer.

Passive or second-hand smoke can also enhance the risk for lung cancer in your near and dear ones staying with you. So try to quit smoking right now to prevent you and your family from harmful consequences.

Minimize intake of alcoholic beverages
Alcohol drinking increases cancer risk due to its ethanol content in variety of ways. More you drink higher is the risk you suffer.

Alcohol acts as an irritant and damage cells, which gets repair themselves through DNA changes. Colonic bacteria convert alcohol into acetaldehyde, which acts like a carcinogen. Alcohol acts as a solvent and helps harmful chemicals from tobacco smoke to get dissolve and entre inside the cells rising risk for cancer of upper digestive tract. Alcohol reduces a body's ability to absorb folate and raise an estrogen level, both can cause breast cancer. Ethanol damage liver cells, leads to inflammation and scarring and DNA damage, which subsequently result in liver cancer.

Limiting the daily consumption of alcohol is the need to minimize the risk for cancer.

Shed those extra pounds
Overweight can becomes a culprit for esophagus, pancreas, colon and rectum, breast and endometrial cancer.

Research has found that obesity is associated with chronic low level of inflammation, which can lead to the spectrum of cancer.
Moreover, fat tissues produce excessive hormone- estrogen which ultimately increases the risk of breast and endometrial cancer in women.
High level of insulin and insulin-like growth factor in obese people stimulate growth of tumour.

Shedding those extra pounds not only keeps cancer at bay but keeps heart diseases and diabetes away.

Get up and start moving
Physical activity is good to reduce the risk for variety of cancer such as colon, breast, endometrial, lung and prostrate.

NCI recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day for protection against colon cancer. Protective effect is greatest in those with performing high-intensity activity.

Weight maintenance, energy balance, regulation of insulin and insulin-like growth factors, maintaining hormonal balance, altering effect of inflammatory and immune factors are some of the ways through which physical activity reduces cancer risk.

Be choosy about food
Food supports our body by strengthening the immune system and boosting body’s ability to fight against disease. Choosing your food wisely is a great step in cancer prevention as some foods are cancer preventing while some can produce inflammation and raise cancer risk.

Fill your plate with antioxidant enriched coloured fruits like strawberries, blueberries, oranges and apple. Contribute a variety of green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Add fibre rich brown rice, whole-grain bread and legumes. Indulge in immune boosting spices such as garlic, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric and basil.

Sugar, red meat, salted, and processed foods- all favour cancer and other chronic diseases, so better to minimize intake.

Get sun protection
Prolong exposure to sun damages skin by creating sunburns and the harmful ultraviolet radiations from sun increases risk for skin cancer.

Limit your outside visits as much as possible in the harsh sun and cover yourself while going outside especially in sunny days. Use sun screen lotions to reduce the harmful effects of sun rays.

Keep off unnecessary radiation
Exposure to ionizing radiation is well known cancer-causing agent for lung, skin, thyroid, stomach, breast cancer and multiple myeloma. Medical radiation from diagnostic X-ray, CT scan, PET scan, bone scans all uses ionizing radiation. Though risk is low with single test but gets added ups with multiple one.

Hence American Cancer Society advises diagnostic test only for good medical reasons.

Avoid carcinogen at workplace
Almost 8% of cancer incidence is due to exposure to carcinogens at workplaces, termed as “occupational cancer." People working in mining, pesticide, chemical and petroleum industry are at great risk for exposure to arsenic, asbestos, benzene, tars and oil leading to lung, skin, liver and bladder cancer.

Every government has their own legislative to reduce exposure to carcinogens at workplaces. So, if you are one of them, Do not hesitate to Ask for the appropriate safety measures; if not provided by your employee.

Do not eat, drink or chew at such places. Keep your hands away from mouth and lips. Always wash your hands and face thoroughly before eating. Avoid breathing and skin contacts with chemicals.

Minimise air pollution exposure
Emission of toxic gases from a vehicle and manufacturing industries is rich in benzene, methylene chloride, acrolein and nitrogen dioxide increasing risk for lung and breast cancer.

In such a scenario, it will be best to avoid heavy traffic hours and covering your nose and mouth to prevent breathing of toxic gases.

It is never too late to stop bad habits and adopt good one.

Read 4634 times Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 11:26

1 comment

  • Comment Link Reagan Houston Friday, 13 July 2012 21:41 posted by Reagan Houston

    Linus Pauling, Ewan Cameron and others recommend vitamins and nutrients to counteract the unavoidable toxins that we receive each day. These would include vitamin C at 2,000 to 3,000 mg/day to protect against cancer, heart and a dozen other diseases. My web site lists details. Buy vitamins locally or as you wish. Reagan Houston

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