Cancer, a disease caused by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells, is a leading cause of death worldwide. Each year, millions of people around the world are diagnosed with cancer or die from it. One-third of all cancer cases are connected to obesity, poor diet, and insufficient physical activity. Experts believe, therefore, that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making smart diet choices can prevent fifty percent of all cancers. Here are the 5 best ways to reduce the risk of getting cancer.
Eating A Healthy Diet
Experts encourage people to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit as a way of reducing their risk of developing cancer. Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts are good choices as are fruits and vegetables that are bright in colour. It is also important for people to avoid eating foods that are high in fat, particularly those that come from animal sources. Processed meats are classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and high-fat meats are believed to promote the growth of breast cancer and other types of cancers. In addition, consuming fibre can reduce the risk of cancer. For every extra gram of fibre people consume, their chances of developing colon cancer decrease. Furthermore, getting enough vitamin D is important because it reduces the risk of developing ovarian, breast, prostate, and other types of cancer.
Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps people reduce their risk of developing cancer. This is because obesity increases the risk of various forms of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer. Many forms of cancer are preventable by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet. Although being overweight in any way can have a negative impact on people's health, having a large amount of intra-abdominal fat, fat stored in the abdominal cavity around the internal organs, is especially concerning. Intra-abdominal fat can negatively interfere with how the body functions by stimulating inflammatory pathways and disrupting hormone function. It has such a large impact on the body that it almost behaves like an organ. In addition to increasing people's risk of developing cancer, high intra-abdominal fat is associated with type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and strokes. To eliminate excess intra-abdominal fat, people can exercise for at least thirty to sixty minutes every day. Endurance exercises, such as running, rowing, biking, and swimming, are especially helpful because they elevate the heart rate.
Smoking is linked to many cancers, including lung, cervix, kidney, and bladder cancer. Chewing tobacco, in comparison, is associated with oral and pancreatic cancer. Even exposure to small amounts of tobacco is harmful. For example, being in the same room as a smoker and inhaling second-hand smoke increases the risk of cancer. Quitting smoking significantly increases people's life spans. However, the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, so quitting smoking is not an easy task. People who want to quit smoking should talk to their doctor and consider using common strategies, including using nicotine replacement therapy, avoiding smoking triggers, chewing gum, increasing their physical activity, practicing relaxation techniques, and constantly reminding themselves about the benefits of not smoking.
Being sedentary increases the risk of developing numerous chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. For this reason, exercise has many positive health benefits, such as regulating estrogen and insulin levels and reducing some of the growth factors linked to cancer development and progression. Regular exercise also helps prevent obesity, reduce inflammation, and improve the immune system. Some cancers that have been linked to a sedentary lifestyle include colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, myeloma, cancers of the rectum, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, gastric cardia cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Exercising for at least twenty minutes a day can help people reduce their risk of cancer.
Limiting Alcohol Consumption
Research suggests that there is a strong link between drinking alcohol and developing several types of cancer. Studies show that the more regularly a person drinks alcohol, the greater the person’s risk of developing certain cancers is. The types of cancers associated with drinking alcohol include head and neck cancers (i.e., lip, throat, and laryngeal cancer), esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. When people both drink and smoke regularly, their risk of developing these cancers is even higher. Even if people stop drinking alcohol, it can take years for their risk of developing cancer to decrease to the risk level of people who have never consumed alcohol regularly. Although alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of developing a variety of cancers, research shows that it may decrease the risk of kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.