Know someone recently diagnosed with cancer? Is it very common to hear about it these days? How can you prevent it?
Do you know, W.H.O (World Health Organization) stated 30 – 50% of cancers could actually be prevented just like hypertension or diabetes. We will be stating facts that can help us understand how we can prevent this from happening to us.
1. Physical Inactivity, Obesity, Dietary factors and being overweight
Remember the days when we use to come back home sweating after playing football or cricket or just any outdoor games. Yes, That’s not the same now. Security concerns (don’t let us send kids for outdoor play), PUBG fever, X-BOX gaming has caused increased physical inactivity in adolescents. I fondly remember the effort I had to make to go to the national Medical library to get a photocopy of an important medical journal which now days is available to be just at a stroke of a finger. W.H.O has mentioned PHYSICAL INACTIVITY as a GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM. “One in four” adults do not meet the W.H.O criteria on physical activity, which results in overweight and obesity. There is a link between being overweight and obesity to many types of cancers such as Esophageal (FOOD PIPE) cancer,
- Obesity has been estimated to cause 20 – 40% of all cancers.
- A sedentary lifestyle is associated with 5% of cancer deaths.
To know more about How obesity may lead to cancer? Why excess body fat causes cancer and what all cancers can be caused by overweight or obesity? keep a watch on our blogs.
Dietary Fat – Dietary fat intake has not been found to increase incidence of breast and colon cancers, however the chances of prostate cancer is shown to increase. But, keep in mind that dietary fat intake may subsequently result in obesity which can result in increased risk of above mentioned cancers.
Red Meat – High intake of Red meat results in increased risk of colon cancer. it has been observed that 100gm/day of red meat increases risk of harboring cancer by 17% and 50gm of processed meat results in 18% increases chances of developing cancer .so if you like Sausages, Salamis, Frozen meat , Smoked meat then you should know they are also called as processed meat.
Fruits and Vegetables –High intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with significant reduction in cancer. Research has shown protective effect of Tomatoes in prostate cancers and Fiber, fruits and vegetables protective against colo-rectal and breast cancers.
Dairy – Research indicates intake of Low-fat dairy products protects against Breast cancer especially in Premenopausal women. Calcium intake has also been shown to reduce cancer of the digestive tract in particular of the Colon and rectum cancer.
High Glycemic Foods (High Sugar foods) – Patients with diabetes have a 2 fold or greater risk of cancer in the Liver, pancreas, breast, colon and endometrium cancers. So one should avoid foods that have high Glycemic index such as orange juice, honey, basmati rice, whole bread, potatoes, white bread and short-grain rice
Omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fish– Studies have shown no benefit with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation but fish intake has been shown to be cancer protective especially in the colon and rectal cancers.
Excess alcohol consumption increases the risk of multiple cancers. It has been estimated that 3.6% of cancers are associated with chronic alcohol drinking. If you are looking for an answer to what happens to if I drink one a day or 5 to 6 drinks in a week then? So it has been clearly stated that even light alcohol consumption of three to six drinks/week has been associated with a small increase in breast cancer in women along with a moderate increase in Esophageal cancers .
It is estimated that 17% of all new cancers are due to infections. Viruses increase cancer risk. For eg. HPV virus known to cause cervical cancers in women, oral cancers and upper food pipe cancers, Hepatitis B and C is known to lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer some bacterial infections such as H. Pylori can cause stomach cancers. Safeguard from these infective organisms can safeguard one from developing cancers in the future.
5. Environmental exposures
If you are staying in India’s most polluted city that’s is Gurgaon or New Delhi then this is what you should be looking at. Such environmental hazards are avoidable such as Excessive solar radiation or air pollution , Radon gas exposure and arsenic content in drinking water.
Skin cancers occur in people who are fair skinned and are exposed to Solar radiation.
Diesel exhaust and particulate matter air pollution have been associated with increased risk of lung cancer.
Long term exposure to elevated arsenic levels in drinking water is associated with an increase in risk of certain cancers especially Urinary bladder cancers .
6. Tobacco Use
The most important of all and the most preventable cause of cancer is TOBACCO use which accounts for 21 % of cancers deaths worldwide.
Approximately one-Half of all smokers die of Tobacco-related disease
Adult smokers loose an average of 13 years of life due to this addiction.
Smoking can cause cancer of every part and organ of the body and is the strongest of all risk factors for lung cancers.
All the above listed 5 points are preventable. One can choose all of the above 5 factors which can result in cancer. Avoiding above mentioned causative factors can help in preventing 20 – 40 % cancers from happening in you.