Cancer can start any place in the body. It starts when cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. It’s a treatable disease but it is also preventable. In honour of World Cancer Day we tell you how you can reduce your cancer risk through choosing healthier options.
Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer globally. Quitting smoking will significantly improve your health, reduce your risk of numerous smoking related cancers and increase your life expectancy and that of the people around you.
Be physically active
Having a large amount of body fat increases the risk of ten cancers - bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers. Reduce your risk of many common cancers by maintaining a healthy weight, and making physical activity part of their everyday life.
Reduce sun exposure
Many people bask in the sun for hours hoping to get a “healthy glow” when in reality, the act can be damaging to your skin cells. Cases of skin cancers are increasing at an alarming rate due to extreme exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Reduce your exposure to the sun to reduce the risk of many skin cancers.
Choose healthy food and drinks
The link between nutrition and many types of cancer has been well studied. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends the following nutritional choices:
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Lower your intake of red and processed meats
- Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 2 drinks for men; 1 drink for women
- Avoid artificial sugars
Avoid the carcinogens
Many man-made chemicals and objects have been found to be potentially damaging to the health. Chemicals such BPA (found in most plastics) and aspartame (found in artificial sweeteners and sodas) have been linked to several cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Educate yourself on the different carcinogens to become a smart consumer and to reduce your cancer risk.
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