25 Jan, 2022
If there is one health condition that can attract instant worry, concern, frown, anxiety and a plethora of negative reactions, the moment it gets diagnosed – it is undoubtedly cancer. Cancer or tumour of any kind is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects any body part, at any age irrespective of the genders.
Though research experiments are going in full swing on what exactly causes cancer cells to emerge and grow exponentially in the human body, expert oncologists, onco surgeons, and others from the medical fraternity agree in unison that certain lifestyle and dietary modifications help in keeping this deadly condition at bay.
Tobacco in all forms – be it cigarette, cigar or in any other avatar is a strict no-no. It is proved beyond doubt that smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer and one of the key risk factors for bladder, kidney and esophageal cancers. By smoking, you are not only ruining your health but also of your friends and family. Remember, second-hand or passive smoking is as dangerous and fatalas the habit of active smoking.
Your diet plays a pivotal role in preventing cancers of many kinds. Draw a diet chart and stick to the plan, no matter what. Indulge in foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, low calorie, high in dietary fibre, whole grains etc. Avoid packaged, processed foods, especially meats, aerated, artificially-sweetened beverages.
Fill your plate with an array of raw or cooked vegetables, relish fruits, bite into nuts to deal with those midday hunger pangs. Craving for deep-fried, high-calorie foods? Eat in smaller quantities to satisfy the urge. While you are at it, guzzle down lots of water and fresh juices but limit alcohol intake.
An active lifestyle dotted with regular exercises is quite imperative in preventing cancer. Being overweight or obese can also contribute to various types of tumours, including breast, lung, prostate, kidney and colon. Doctors strongly recommend 150 minutes of walking or any other moderate aerobic activity, or 30 minutes of intense workouts for 3 days in a week or a combination of both for maintaining a healthy weight. Include a 30-minute workout session in your routine as this helps you in reducing the risk of not just cancer but a broad spectrum of diseases.
Many of us do not realise the harm caused by harsh ultraviolet sun rays on our skin, which is the common reason behind skin cancer. This type of cancer can be easily prevented by staying away from sun rays shed during midday, applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, loose-fitting cotton clothing etc.
One should also be mindful of avoiding carcinogenic gases like radon, arsenic in water to prevent cancers of the lung, bladder and kidney.
Stress is one of the key factors that can make your overall wellness go for a toss. Many studies have proved that intense amounts of stress and lack of sleep can lead to various chronic ailments, including diabetes, hypertension, hormonal imbalance, making the body prone to viral infections, which in turn up the risk of cancers.
Yes! Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient, which is responsible for regulating various bodily functions. Exposing yourself to sunlight during early hours can help your body make this micronutrient. Unfortunately, many studies have revealed that a majority of Indians have Vitamin D deficiency, despite living in a tropical country. Researchers believe that periodic replenishment of Vitamin D reduces the risk of prostate, colon and other types of cancers.
If you are above 40, it is time to keep up with your regular doctor appointments. Women above this age group and close to menopause are highly recommended to get their annual pap smear done to rule out cervical cancer, while men should take care of prostate functioning. If you have a family history of cancer, it is even more important for you to take extra care of your body. Remember, regular screening and early diagnosis still remain the best way to defeat cancer successfully!