Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cancer Prevention Steps

Anyone can get cancer. One of the biggest factors that can make a person more likely to get cancer is age: 3 out of 4 cancers are found in people aged 55 or older. But there are many other factors that affect cancer risk and some of them can be changed.

Forty percent of cancers could be prevented with adoption of a healthy lifestyle, says a report initiated by researchers from the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) organization.


1: Quit Smoking Right Away.

Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of cancer. Second hand and third hand smoke are also damaging to health.

2: Eat a Variety of Healthy Foods.

Balance calorie intake with physical activity

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and kalian are believed to be nature's best cancer fighters. Additionally, be sure to include foods high in antioxidants- tomatoes, tea (particularly green tea), red wine, dark chocolate, pecans, kidney beans, and many other foods.

Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains

A diet high in soluble fibre and low in fat may not only help you lose weight or maintain your weight, it has been linked to a reduced risk of cancers of the colon, esophagus, lung and stomach.

Limit intake of processed and red meats and alcohol.

3: Stay Active and Maintain a Healthy Weight

30 minutes of moderate daily exercise can help to prevent cancer through the following mechanisms:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Preventing obesity
  • Decreasing estrogen levels
  • Decreasing insulin growth factor (IGF) levels - high IGF levels can increase your risk of developing cancer of the breast, colon, and rectum

In the US, 16 per cent of bowel cancer cases in men and 17 per cent of breast cancer cases in women could be prevented by just by being in the healthy weight range.

4: Protect yourself from the Sun

More than 90% of all skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s radiation,

including melanoma, which can be life-threatening.


5: Get Immunized

Certain cancers are associated with viral infections that can be prevented with immunizations. Talk to your doctor about immunization against Hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV).

6: Avoid Risky Behaviors

Many known carcinogens are found in our living environments, at home and at work. Avoid or minimize your exposure to materials that are known to contain unhealthy chemicals.

Avoid risky behaviors that will expose you to HPV, HIV and Hepatits B and C infections that are known to cause cancer.

7: Get Screened

Regular screening and self-examination for certain cancers may not prevent cancer, but it can increase your chances of discovering cancer early — when treatment is more likely to be successful.

8: Reduce Stress.

We all know that cancer causes stress, but does stress cause cancer?.

Research in cell biology and biochemistry has shown that certain molecules that increase in times of stress have also been linked with several diseases including cancer. Inflammatory pathways activated by stress have been implicated in the development of tumors, metastasis of tumors, and resistance to chemotherapy.

It is important to acknowledge and deal with stress, whether or not it has any affect on the incidence or progression of cancer because doing so will certainly improve your Quality of Life.

Above all, do not regret the past, nor speculate on the future. Just focus on the NOW and enjoy the present.


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