The ‘C-word’, usually refers to cancer is very scary, but the scenario could be more scary if you or any of your loved one is being diagnosed with the disease.
But, the fact is that most cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes, early detection and treatment.
These include- a healthy diet, exercise, good sleep, avoiding tobacco products, etc. Remember, the lifestyle choices that you make everyday, no matter how small they are, can create a big difference in your life.
However, delaying the treatment can worsen the condition thereby resulting in cancer deaths.
To raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment, World Cancer Day is celebrated on February 4 every year.
The theme for this year is – “Not Beyond Us”, that highlights the fact that there are many practical things that can be done as individuals and as communities to reduce the burden of cancer.
Below are a few tips to steer clear of cancer:
Eat a healthy diet: The food you eat plays a vital role in your well-being. A person’s cancer risk can be reduced by eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Limit your fat intake, especially those from animal sources. Non-vegetarians should limit their consumption of red meats. Also, intake of salty foods and food processed with salt should be taken in moderation.
Avoid tobacco: Tobacco in any form is injurious to health. Any amount of tobacco and its products that you take increases the risk of developing cancer. While smoking has been linked to cancer of the lungs, bladder, cervix and kidneys; chewing tobacco causes oral and pancreatic cancer.
Limit alcohol: If you drink, set moderate drinking limits. Studies suggest two drinks for men and one drink for women daily should be the limit.
Also, a recent study has claimed that drinking a small glass of wine a day may give you a better chance of avoiding heart failure than those who don’t drink at all.
Exercise: Being physically active for 30 minutes daily can decrease your cancer risk. Daily exercise will also help maintain an ideal weight which might lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer such as- breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and kidney cancer.
Sun protection: Always use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you step out in the sun. prolong exposure to sun can cause skin cancer, which is one of the most common kinds of cancer. While sunscreen alone is not enough to prevent skin cancer, it is also one of the most preventable cancers just by following a few tips like:
Avoiding mid-day sun, avoiding tanning beds, covering exposed ares with clothes, examining your skin every month.
Regular medical care: Getting regular medical care can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Research has shown that screening for cervical, colorectal and breast cancers can help treat them before turning cancerous.
Also, vaccines like human papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B can help reduce cancer risk.