Cancer Prevention: We are all aware of the cell functions in our bodies. There is cell growth happening simultaneously with cell death which kind of balances the number of cells in our body. Cancer results when there is an imbalance in this function which results in the piling up of multiple cells. This piling up of cells or abnormal growth of cells which resembles a fist is called a tumour. This can be removed and in most cases it is benign. Most prostate and breast tumours fall into this category.
Unfortunately, not all tumours are benign and go away when removed. There is the kind of tumour that resembles an open hand and is more spread out. It is this tumour that is life-threatening and difficult to treat. However, though not much is known about the causes of cancer, there are a few basic precautions one can take to minimize the risk of cancer.
How To Prevent Cancer
A few causes have been identified as possible risks leading to cancer. If you can avoid these, you may benefit to that extent.
Adapt your lifestyle
- That there is a strong link between smoking and cancer is undeniable. At least 35% of all cancers can be avoided if you get rid of that horrible habit.
- Did you know that the commonest form of cancer is skin cancer? In the West, it is one of the fastest spreading and leading diseases melanoma. Generally, people with fair skin are most susceptible. In other countries where the sun is strong throughout the day, it is better to avoid going out without proper protection as we cannot afford to be sitting at home the whole day! A sunblock with a high SPF is a must. Check for unusual changes in your skin like changing moles etc.
- Obesity and lack of exercise can lead to cancer. Eat right and watch your weight. Never forget your eight glasses of water – it will help you get rid of unwanted toxins. Take steps to prevent obesity and keep exercising.
- If you belong to a family with a history of cancer (even uncles and cousins are included), then consider yourself at high risk and share this family pedigree with your doctor. He might advise you to have regular screenings and tests and you might have to start at least 10 years earlier than the age at which your relative was diagnosed with cancer.
- The next best thing to cancer prevention is early detection. If the doctor is able to diagnose the disease early, when it is still localized and has not started to spread, treatments like surgery, chemo and radiation can help cure the patient in 90% of the cases.
- Certain supplements and vitamins are known to have a beneficial effect in protecting people from cancer. It is said that people who take vitamins C and E regularly, certainly benefit from this intake. You have to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables for absorbing enough vitamin C as its lifespan is very short. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant. Taking selenium seems to help in reducing the chances of developing prostate cancer in men.
Also Read: How to lead a healthy lifestyle
- Check with your doctor about the appropriate tests that you must undergo for screening. Most cancers, with the exception of brain tumours, testicular cancer, and some leukaemias, usually strike after age 50, so screening strategies should be stepped up as you age. Remember that having a known genetic predisposition for certain cancer – or many relatives with specific cancer -places you at a higher risk of developing that disease, so you need to screen for it more often.
Walking remains one of the best forms of physical exercise one can ever have and it is ideal for people of all ages. Walking tones up your body muscles and keeps you flexible as you age. This is because when you walk, you can observe that the muscles involved are the foot, leg, hip and most of your back and stomach muscles as they actively support the weight of your body. Your shoulder and neck muscles also play a very important part as they help you to keep your head erect when you stride. Therefore, walking with an impressive stride automatically ensures that you will have a good posture – something that will add to your personality and make you alert and confident.
Benefits of walking
- Totally safe and convenient as you don’t depend on machines
- It is a good aerobic workout by itself
- Helps burn some calories
- Reduces chances of osteoporosis
- Relieve stress and anxiety and improves your mood
- Might help your fight against diabetes
- Improves stamina
- Said to reduce skin problems
- There is no age restriction
Also Read: Cancer: Everyone Should Know What Is Cancer?
Walking is a cardiovascular and aerobic exercise that helps prevent heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. It is all about burning excess fat, building muscle and losing unwanted kilos. Do a few warm-ups before you start walking as it will reduce the chances of injury and increase flexibility. Stick to a low-fat, high fibre and high-nutrient diet and include plenty of fruits and veggies. Certain foods like wheat bran cereal, soya milk, yoghurt, carrots and spinach can actually help fight cancer. In women, exercise helps decrease hormone levels and reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Daily task list to reduce the risk of cancer
- A daily activity like walking or running is a must and should be for a minimum of twenty minutes a day.
- Always protect your exposed skin with sunblock before you venture out. You should do so even in cold weather. Use a moisturiser morning and night.
- Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains and low-fat dairy products. Avoid sweets and processed foods.
- Meditation for at least 10 minutes will help soothe your system. It will also help you to look inward and discover what inspires you, motivates you and satisfies your soul.
- Pranayama helps in reducing cancer risk too. Pranayama helps control mental-emotional stress. It is also a safe and efficient strategy to combat many of cancer’s unpleasant physical and mental impacts.
- Give enough exercise to your brain. Cut out long hours in front of the TV. Instead use the time to read, solve problems (like sudoku), or learn new skills. Keep your brain always active to prevent it from rusting.
- Did you know that hugging another person is a form of instant therapy? Do it then on a daily basis and reap the benefits!