Cancer It is the leading cause of death worldwide and the number of people affected by cancer is increasing with each passing year. According to Cancer.gov, by 2040, the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase to 29.5 million and the number of cancer deaths to 16.4 million each year. Although recent advances in medicine have improved the way we diagnose and treat cancer, there is no surefire way to prevent the occurrence of this deadly disease. Experts say cancer can be caused by bad luck, environment or genetics, but environment plays a major role in increasing or decreasing your chances of developing cancer. According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, most cancers are rooted in environment and lifestyle, and only 5-10 percent of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects. (Also read: (Can you get cervical cancer if you don’t engage in sexual activity?)
The report states that certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sunlight, environmental pollution, infection, stress, obesity and physical inactivity are risk factors for cancer. “Evidence suggests that about 25-30% of all cancer deaths are caused by tobacco, as much as 30-35% are linked to diet, about 15-20% are caused by infections, And the remaining percent is caused by other factors such as radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollution, etc.,” the report says.
Dr. Sandeep Naik, Senior Director, Surgical Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute, Bengaluru in an interview with HT Digital explains ways to reduce the chances of getting cancer through certain lifestyle changes.
“Cancer is a disease that has plagued humanity for centuries, and while advances in medicine have greatly improved our ability to diagnose and treat it, preventing cancer from occurring in the first place is still a challenge. is the most effective way to deal with the disease. There is no sure way to prevent cancer, there are certain lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk to a great extent,” says Dr. Naik.
Here are five ways to reduce your chances of getting cancer:
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important to reduce the risk of cancer. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods and red meat can help protect against cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help protect against cancer, while processed foods and red meat have been linked to an increased risk. In particular, a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.
2. Exercise regularly.
Regular physical activity is important to reduce the risk of cancer. Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Studies show that regular physical activity not only reduces the risk of cancer, but also improves overall health and well-being.
3. Avoid using tobacco.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is responsible for nearly half of all cancer deaths. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. In addition to mouth and lung cancer, smoking has been linked to an increased risk of several other types of cancer, including bladder, pancreas and throat cancer.
4. Limit alcohol consumption.
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon and liver cancer. It’s best to limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. In addition to cancer, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to several other health problems, including liver disease and heart disease.
5. Protect yourself from the sun.
Sun protection is essential to prevent skin cancer. To protect yourself, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wear protective clothing, and avoid prolonged sun exposure in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any changes in your skin and have any suspicious moles or spots checked by a dermatologist.
“Remember that no one can guarantee that you will never get cancer, and no single action can prevent it, but by making these changes, you can create a healthy environment for your body to function. Also, it’s important to see a doctor regularly, and be aware of any signs or symptoms that may be related to cancer. It’s never too early or too late to start making changes and taking control of your health. Hoti,” concluded Dr. Naik.