Around 14.1 million new cancer cases occur every year. It caused about 8.8 million deaths (15.7% of deaths) in 2015. The risk of cancer increases significantly with age and many instances of cancer occur more commonly in developed countries. Rates are increasing as more people live to an old age and as lifestyle changes occur in the developing world. But we have the potential, through our food and lifestyle choices, to make a major impact on the cancer risk each of us face in our lives. Here are few tips to take charge and prevent cancer.
Avoid tobacco: Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer including lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney cancer. Chewing tobacco has been linked to oral cavity and pancreatic cancer. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to second-hand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.
Eat properly: Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Don’t forget to eat fish two to three times a week, you’ll get protection from heart disease and it may also reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Reduce your consumption of saturated fat and red meat, which appears to increase the risk of colon and prostate cancers.
Exercise regularly: Physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer, and it may even help prevent prostate cancer. Exercise also appears to reduce a woman’s risk of breast and possibly reproductive cancers. Exercise will help you protect yourself even if you don’t achieve weight loss.
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation: The risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking, hence it is advised to regulate consumption of such beverages.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation: Protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, which increases the risk of melanomas and other skin cancers.
Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active: Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Stay lean: Obesity increases the risk of many forms of cancer. Take in fewer calories and burn more with exercise. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least 8 cups of water a day. Drinking plenty of water and other healthy liquids may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer causing agents in urine and helping to flush them through the bladder faster.
If you stay healthy, you won’t need cancer treatments. As always, prevention is the best medicine. So, don’t wait for the right time to come, start NOW!