World Cancer Day is celebrated on February 4 and seeks to raise public awareness of this much-feared disease. With the necessary and correct information, it is possible to fight against cancer.
Cancer can affect everyone, young and old, rich and poor, men and women. And the scenario is not so encouraging. It is estimated that 9.6 million people died of cancer in 2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, cancer can be prevented!
How To Prevent Cancer?
Cancer is a disease caused by genetic mutations. For a long time, it was believed that these mutations originated from birth defects and that, therefore, it would not be possible to interfere or avoid them. Today, with advances in research, we know that 30 to 50% of cancer cases can be prevented by changes in lifestyle. They include, not smoking, preferring natural foods, maintaining a balanced diet, getting vaccinated, reducing drinking alcoholic beverages, and physical activity.
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The above are some ways to prevent different types of cancer. Want to know more? Check out, then, the ten prevention tips we have listed below:
1. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Diet to prevent cancer should be balanced and with as much natural food as possible. The ideal is to include more plant-based foods, fewer animal-based foods in the dish.
Remove processed foods that are ready for consumption or ready to heat, out of your daily routine as much as possible. So eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Let go of processed meats and processed products.
2. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Obesity is associated with multiple cancers such as the pancreas, liver, breast, or esophagus. Because obesity produces a state of chronic inflammation in the body, which activates cytokines.
Cytokines are the proteins that regulate the function of cells and these make tumor cells grow. For this reason, it is important to maintain an ideal weight that is complemented by a good diet.
3. Practice Physical Activity Regularly
Being an active person is a way of protecting against various diseases, including cancer prevention. Try to include physical exercises in your routine, such as a sport, dance, or group classes at gyms or clubs. But always be guided by a professional.
Also, include simple forms of physical activity in your daily life. For example, you can walk or cycle to work, choose the stairs instead of the elevator, take the dog for a walk and take care of the garden. Thus, you also control your weight, which, if it is above ideal, can increase your risk of cancer.
The WHO recommends practicing 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, such as a walk to the market or restaurant. Or, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, such as football matches, running, and dance classes.
4. Don’t Smoke
According to the WHO, tobacco use is the main risk factor for cancer mortality that can be avoided. When smoking, more than 4,700 toxic and carcinogenic substances are released that are inhaled by smokers and non-smokers. Thus, smoking can cause cancer of the lung, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, kidney, among other types of tumor.
5. Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for several types of cancer, such as liver, breast, and colorectal cancer. Therefore, avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. And, if you are going to drink, whatever the type, limit your intake. If you smoke and drink, your risk of developing cancer is even greater.
6. Watch Out For The Sun
Although it is beneficial to ensure vitamin D in the body, excessive exposure to the sun is a risk factor for skin cancer. This is the most common type of cancer in the world. Therefore, avoid sunbathing between 10 am and 4 pm, a period with strong ultraviolet rays. Use sunscreen daily and, if you go to the beach or do an outdoor activity, protect yourself with caps or hats.
7. Get The Recommended Vaccines
Some types of cancer develop from other diseases. For example, hepatitis B can develop into liver cancer, while HPV (human papillomavirus) can lead to cervical cancer. So be sure to get vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV. In 2012, approximately 15% of all types of cancer were attributed to infectious agents, according to the WHO.
8. Maintain Medical Follow-Up
In addition to these precautions, it is recommended to have regular medical follow-up and preventive exams. An annual check-up can help prevent cancer from developing and also diagnose it early. This increases the patient’s chance of healing and quality of life.
Women must observe their breasts whenever they feel comfortable doing so. Whether in the bath, at the time of changing clothes, or in another daily situation, without specific technique, valuing the casual discovery of small breast changes.
In addition to being attentive to their bodies, it is also recommended that women aged 50 to 69 have a screening mammogram (when there are no signs or symptoms) every two years.
9. Control Stress
There is no evidence that stress directly increases the risk of cancer. However, people under stress can develop certain behaviors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating, which increase the chance of developing cancer.
In addition, stress weakens your immune system. Take care of your mental and emotional health by practicing mindfulness, managing your time better, and taking time to take care of yourself and relax.
10. Protecting Yourselves At Work From Any Harmful Substance.
Request in writing in the occupational risk prevention service if your company uses a carcinogenic agent and what measures you must take. The company must provide you with all the material and logistics to be able to take these measures. Always follow protective measures, and never mix normal and work clothes in the washing machine.
There are risk factors that we cannot control, such as age and genetics. However, we can control the risk factors mentioned above. So try to follow these tips and increase your chance of avoiding cancer!