You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes a specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study is advised against in another. What’s known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.
We live in an age where every single individual, more or less is exposed to the risk of cancer. It is probably an unfavourable lifestyle we lead that deprives us of good health. This might alarm many but considerable changes in lifestyle can help you realise cancer as a preventable disease. Cancer does not only make you undergo severe suffering but it also affects your friends and family. The pallor of misery spreads wider than you think.
Abstain from Tobacco:
Consuming raw tobacco or smoking tobacco can be equally detrimental to your health. Tobacco increases your chances of contracting the disease. As is known, passive smoking can also affect your health adversely. Tobacco can be the potential cause behind cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, oral cavity and even the pancreas. It might harm your kidneys and cervix. It is upon you to quit tobacco at the earliest possible. One should also try and persuade friends and relatives to give up smoking.
Drink Alcohol in moderation:
Complete abstinence from alcohol might not be possible if you have already been ushered into your work- life. The society might require you to be an occasional drinker. It is important to drink in moderation. Crossing the limit can propel consequences as serious as cancer of the stomach, pancreas, liver and the heart.
A balanced and nutritious Diet:
Deciding on a plant and vegetable can aid your fight against the risk of cancer. A balanced diet will involve green leafy vegetables, lots of fresh fruits, whole grains, mixed nuts, legumes and also the use of vegetable oils. Fish can be a safe bet but red meat should be taken in restricted amounts. One must also try to avoid processed meat as they tend to make you prone to the risk of cancer.
Hepatitis B and HPV or Human Papilloma Virus vaccines are extremely necessary to protect you against the sexually transmitted types of cancer.
Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain adults at high risk — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, people who use intravenous drugs, men who have sex with men and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys above ages 11 and 12.
Caring for your skin doesn’t arise from vanity. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent kinds of cancer; the chances of this disease can be restricted by staying indoors especially during midday, wearing covered clothes and by using a good sunscreen lotion repeatedly while going outside.
Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help too.
Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loose fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for a bright / dark colors which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton does.
Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously and re-apply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
Did you think it was okay to have weaker muscles and bulging layers of fat? If yes, you probably have grown numb to the inadequacies you face as a result. Unchecked fat can lead to obesity which further complicates health conditions. Metabolic activity differs from person to person. Regular exercising can help regulate metabolism according to the needs of your body.
Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. Moderate or vigorous physical activity for 150 to 75 minutes a week respectively can reduce the risk of cancer.
Get regular medical care:
Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.
N.B. Harini M.Sc (Clinical Nutrition)., RD., CDE.
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