There is not much known about cancer prevention. Because of increasing number of cancer cases and deaths due to cancer every year, prevention and early detection of this deadly disease have become more important than ever.
Read on to learn how you can improve your chances to prevent cancer such as cancer prevention guidelines and which foods help prevent cancer.
The science about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, doctors accept that your lifestyle choices do contribute a lot to your risk of developing cancer.
Though early detection is important, but your aim should be to reduce your risk of getting cancer in the first place.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Cancer Prevention Guidelines – How We Can Prevent Cancer?
Follow these 10 cancer prevention tips/guidelines to reduce your chances of developing cancer:
Don’t Use Tobacco
Avoid consuming tobacco products in all its forms, including exposure to second hand smoke.
Smoking has been linked to many types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, esophageal, larynx, colorectal, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney.
Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas.
Almost ninety percent of all lung cancer is related to smoking. So much so- even non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at the risk for lung cancer and other respiratory conditions.
Remember this dictum: It’s never too late to quit smoking.
Have A Proper Diet
Limiting your consumption of saturated fat, red and processed meat helps reduce your risk of colon cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Base your diet more on plant sources, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, pulses and beans.
(i) According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly raise the risk of certain types of cancer.
(ii) The Mediterranean diet, which is based mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts has many health benefits and may help reduce the risk of developing cancer. Mediterranean diet essentially chooses fish over red meat and healthy fats, such as olive oil, instead of butter.
Limit Your Alcoholic Drinks Intake
If you choose to drink, do so only in moderation. Excess alcohol increases your risk of cancers of the liver, colon, mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus (food pipe) and; it also increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Limit yourself to an average of no more than 2 drinks a day if you are a man or 1 drink a day if you are a woman.
Regular physical activities such as like walking, cycling, swimming, weight training, Pilates and aerobics can contribute to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Exercise also helps reduce a woman’s risk of breast and possibly reproductive cancers.
Include regular exercise in your routine to reduce stress, boost your immune system, control your weight and lower your risk for cancer.
Doing at least thirty minutes of exercise each day can make a lot of difference in your overall well-being and general health.
Note: An adult should aim at 150-300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity or 75-150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity – and if you can do more, even better. You can also choose combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
Stay Lean As Possible Without Becoming Underweight
Obesity increases the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, colon, pancreatic, lung and kidney. To slim down, eat fewer calories (by avoiding refined sugar, fat from animal sources) and burn more with exercise.
Avoid Unnecessary Exposure To Radiation
Get medical imaging examination only when it’s necessary. Limit yourself from ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, which increases the risk of skin cancers.
Skin cancer is the most common and most preventable cancer in the United States.
But electromagnetic radiation from high-voltage power lines or radio frequency radiation from microwaves and cell phones is not that harmful. They are believed not to cause cancer.
Note: Avoid using indoor tanning beds.
Avoid exposure to industrial and environmental toxins like asbestos fibers, benzene, aromatic amines, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Certain viruses/infections are contributing factors to cancer such as hepatitis viruses, HIV, and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Many can be transmitted through contaminated needles or sexually.
(i) Hepatitis B can raise the risk of developing liver cancer.
(ii) HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can contribute to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the neck & head.
Talk to your doctor about vaccination against such viral infections. They can be done at certain age only.
Things That Increase Risk Of Cancer
(i) Certain people are at high risk — like adults who are sexually active (exception is a mutually monogamous relationship), people with sexually transmitted infections, men who have sex with men (anal, penis cancer), health care workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
(ii) Sharing needles with people who use intravenous drugs can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which in turn can increase the risk of liver cancer.
(iii) Some strains of the human papillomavirus, also called as HPV can spread through skin to skin contact during anal, vaginal and oral sex.
(iv) The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can also be spread from person to person through unprotected sex. It can cause long-term liver infections that can increase a person’s chance of developing liver cancer.
Get enough vitamin D
Though protection is far from proven, some evidence suggests that vitamin D might help lower the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies.
Note: Health experts now recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day, a goal that’s not easy to achieve. Talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin supplement.
Regular Medical Check-ups
Talk to your health care professional about screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the breast, colon, cervix and skin. These tests increase your chances of early detection of cancer, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Some tests can also detect precancerous conditions before they become cancer.
Whereas screening has been proven to save lives, but screening guidelines aren’t always “one size fits all.” Ask your doctor about the best cancer-screening schedule for you.
Some Suggestions For Females
(i) Regular self-breast examination for any lump & pain, and timely screening mammography.
(ii) For postmenopausal females visits to gynaecologists and pap smears test.
Some More Suggestions
Talk to your doctor about the following tests:
(i) Low dose CT scan of lung for heavy smokers at particular intervals.
(ii) Annual stool for occult blood examination.
(iii) Colonoscopy as advised by family physician.
You should immediately seek your doctor’s advice when the symptoms appear instead of delaying the treatment. PET scan is a type of test that can be useful in cancer staging, should be done by institution/cancer specialist.
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About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”