January 1, 2022
The word cancer is scary, chilling and unpredictable. Lately, there has been a steep increase in the incidence of cancers, and there are a few things that can be blamed for this – sedentary lifestyle, fast-changing habits, stress, poor environment and genetics. It is an undeniable fact that cancer, unfortunately, is a fact, and this life-threatening ailment that emerges anywhere in the body is claiming a countless number of livesworldwide every year.
Fortunately, the world of cancer care is consistently evolving, and thanks to the relentless efforts of scientists, oncologists, radiologists, and other battery of experts working in the area, treating tumours has become more advanced in recent years.
If you ask, what causes cancer nobody knows the definite answer. Yes! We do agree that smoking, genetics, environmental pollution, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle are a few prime reasons but it is also detected among those with a clean, disciplined lifestyle. While expert doctors and scientists are working relentlessly to crack the code behind this challenging disease, let us pledge to do our bit in safeguarding our health.
Oncologists and other experts working in cancer care agree in unison that certain modifications in our daily life will leave a great positive impact and help us in reducing our cancer risk.
Get Screened For Cancer:
Well, prevention is better than cure, and if you are above 40, this applies all the more to you. Doctors recommend women in their 40s and close to menopause to undergo annual screening for breast cancer, cervical and uterine cancers. A simple mammogram (for breasts) and pap smear test (cervix and uterus) can reveal the health of these vital organs. Men in their 50s need to get tested for prostate cancer, lung cancer (especially, important for smokers)and colon cancer. Talk to your doctor for a few basic tests that help you stay cancer-free.
- Get annual screening done
- Complete blood work reveals health status
- Pap smear, mammography aid in early detection of gynaecological cancers and breast cancers respectively.
- Men above 50 should get tested annually for prostate cancer
Maintain Healthy Weight:
Obesity is a chronic disorder that can lead to various serious health conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight according to the BMI lowers the risk of various cancers including colon, kidney, prostate, lung and even breast. Shed those excess kilograms, stay physically active with at least 3 to 4 hours of intense workouts, and 75 minutes of moderate exercises per week.
Walk daily, go cycling, go swimming, practise yoga and pranayama for not only beating stress but also for avoiding cancer.
- Obesity increases cancer risk
- Workout for at least 5 days a week
- Indulge in moderate to intense exercises regularly
- Enjoy cycling, swimming, practise yoga, pranayama for overall wellbeing
Indulge In Healthy Diet:
A healthy diet makes a whole lot of difference to your overall well-being. Draw up a diet chart that includes a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruits, plant-based proteins, whole grains, fish, foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Nutritionists recommend intake of at least 3 cups of fresh veggies, fruits per day, eating cereals, dals made from whole grains, switching over to red rice or brown rice for maintaining great health. Always stay away from red and processed meats. If you are a diabetic or at the risk of it, avoid sweets, greasy, fatty foods to avoid other health conditions including cancer.
- Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your daily diet
- Say no to carbonated drinks
- Avoid refined, packaged and processed foods
- Stay away from red and processed meats
- Increase protein intake, cut down on bad carbs and sweets
Smoking is another killer risk factor, and it not only affects the lungs but also every cell in the body. The carcinogenic chemicals loaded in cigarettes can cause unbelievable harm not only to you but also to your loved ones in the form of passive smoking. Smoking is the chief reason behind the cancers of the lungs, bladder, mouth, throat, larynx, cervix, pancreas and kidney. The harsh chemicals that travel in the bloodstream interfere with the functioning of each organ and trigger the growth of cancerous cells.
If you are a smoker, quit right now. If you are not, stay away from second-hand smoke, as passive smoking can be equally dangerous. If you are unable to kick the butt, talk to your doctor or sign up for a cessation programme where certified specialists can help you with evidenced-based approaches to bid goodbye to this bad habit.
- Kick the butt for good
- Stay away from second hand or passive smoking
- Avoid inhaling hazardous chemicals, such as benzene, pesticides, weedicides
- Check your house for the presence of radon gas
Say No To Alcohol:
Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with the risk of developing various types of cancers. The risk of cancer even among moderate drinkers is also significantly high compared to complete teetotallers. Studies suggest that regular consumption of liquor ups the risk of head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
- Alcohol is a killer habit
- Liquor damages the liver, thus triggering the growth of cancer cells
- Quit drinking for witnessing positive results in health
Go For Vaccines:
Vaccines play a pivotal role in preventing certain types of cancer. These vaccines provide protection against certain types of viral infections like Hepatitis B, which can cause liver cancer and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) responsible for the majority of cervical cancers.
- Hepatitis B vaccine is administered to the adults at high risk of virus, poor liver health and liver cancer
- HPV is recommended for the girls after attaining puberty.
So, these are 6 ways that you can opt for in order to not just reduce your cancer risk but also your chances of developing various other health disorders. HCG strongly urges each one of you to switch to a more salubrious lifestyle as this contributes to two things – a healthier you and a healthier community.