Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases that can affect a person, and sometimes Cancer Treatment methods such as chemotherapy, Surgery or radiation prove ineffective in rare cases. There are more than a hundred types of cancer that affects the body, from Breast Cancer to lung cancer, skin cancer, mouth cancer, Prostate Cancer and so on.
With all that we know of our family history and childhoods from our relatives, do we know much about their medical history? It's important that you do, since cancer cells can also be transferred genetically, and awareness of your family's medical history might help you identify signs of cancer if any. However, there are also several external factors that result in a person being diagnosed with cancer. But if you had a choice to ward off cancer by changing your lifestyle, wouldn't you do it? Here are five such ways to ward off cancer:
Refrain from consuming tobacco
According to the National Cancer Institute,tobacco is one of the widely known factors that cause cancer from cancer of the mouth, lung, larynx, pancreas, throat, kidney and so on. Regular, or even occasional use of Tobacco puts you in harm's way and provides your body with a breeding ground for cancer cells. Even exposure to secondhand smoke, from a person smoking nearby, puts you at a risk of cancer revealed by a study from the NCBI which states that spousal smoking increases the risk of Lung Cancer by 20% for women and 30% for men.
Follow a healthy diet
We all love the occasional junk food binging, and while they may make you feel better at that time, it goes a long way to increasing the risk of cancer. Although following a healthy diet won't guarantee complete cancer prevention, it will definitely reduce the risk of cancer. A paper from NCBI addresses how a healthy diet can prevent around 30-40% of all cancers. Here are some guidelines to follow for healthy eating:
- Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables: Follow a diet from plant based sources, such as beans and whole grains
- Avoid foods that lead to obesity: Eating lighter foods, and prioritising low-calorie foods over weight gaining foods such as refined sugar and animal fat will help reduce risk of cancer
- Cut down on Alcohol since research has concluded that Alcohol enhances the risk of cancer in lung, kidney, colon, breast and liver.
Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining your body and keeping it at a healthy weight helps lower the risk of various kinds of cancer like lung, prostate, breast, kidney and colon. Physical activity helps maintain your body and helps control weight as well.
Minimize staying under the sun for too long
Though Skin Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, it also makes it the easiest to prevent. Cancer Research UK, the biggest cancer research based charity in the world, revealed that 9 out of 10 cases of Skin Cancer could be avoided by taking the necessary precautions. Here are some tips to follow when taking precautions for skin cancer:
- Avoid the midday sun: The sun's rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m are the most dangerous because it's when the sun's rays are the strongest.
- Cover exposed areas of your skin with clothing of bright or dark colours, since these colours divert the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays when compared to more pastel colours. On the exposed areas of skin, apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
- Avoid using tanning beds as they emit the same damaging rays as sunlight.
Get regular medical care and do occasional check ups
Maintaining a habit of going for checkups and screenings for various types of cancer such as cancer on the lungs, skin, colon, breast, cervix and so on will help you identify cancer cells at its early stages. This would prove to be greatly beneficial since treatment for cancer is more effective the sooner it's discovered.