This year, “I am and I will” is the theme for World Cancer day celebrated on 4th February. This theme highlights the value of every individual to fight against cancer. It is an empowering call-to-action asking people to take action to save the future. The theme also acknowledges that all of us can fight against cancer.
Lifestyle Modifications to Fight Against Cancer
Experts believe that one-third to one-half of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle modification.
Smoking makes you more likely to get cancers of the lung, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, cervix, mouth, esophagus, and throat.
The typical Western diet contains a variety of mutagens and carcinogens that may act through the generation of oxygen radicals and lead to the initiation of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases. A diet high in fat and/or refined sugar has been shown to induce oxidative stress. Target: a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes (for example, peas and beans), fish, poultry, and whole grains, Eat less red meat (such as beef, goat, lamb, and pork), Eat less processed meat (like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and some deli meats),Eat less food made from refined grains, Limit sweets.
Maintain a Healthy Weight:
If you have extra fat is in the waist area you are at higher risk than people whose extra fat is in the hips or thighs. It can be hard to change habits around eating and being active. But you can do it by taking one step at a time.
Maintaining mobility is a critical element for the quality of life. Skeletal muscle, the primary organ for locomotion, undergoes age-associated deterioration in size, structure, and function. Recent research suggests that oxidative stress is an important etiology for sarcopenia. Long-term studies show that women who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for more than 3 hours per week have a 30% to 40% lower risk of breast cancer. This applies to all women, regardless of family history or risk of breast cancer.
Protect your Skin:
Follow these steps to help prevent skin cancer: Stay out of the sun when you can, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the hours of peak ultraviolet (UV) exposure. If you must go out in the sun, wear protective clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and pants. On skin that isn’t covered by clothing, use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Use it every day, even when it’s cloudy. Sunscreens that say “broad-spectrum” can protect the skin from ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays. Wear sunglasses that block UV rays. Use lip balm or cream that has sun protection factor (SPF) to protect your lips from getting sunburned. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, which emit UV radiation and can cause skin damage.
Drink Alcohol Wisely:
The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk is for cancer. If you’re a woman, think about limiting yourself to 1 drink a day. Drinking alcohol leads to extra estrogen in the body, which raises your risk for breast cancer. Studies show that for women who have a personal or family history of breast cancer, it may be better to limit alcohol to less than 1 drink a day.
Practice Safe Sex:
Practicing safer sex helps keep you from getting HPV , a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer in women. Safer sex includes using condoms and talking to every potential sex partner about his or her sexual history.
Get regular check-ups and screenings.
Visiting your doctor and dentist for regular check-ups is good for your health. Your doctor can schedule regular screenings for various types of cancer, such as mammograms for breast cancer and stool tests for colon cancer. Most screenings and check-ups are to find cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and may even be curable.
Consider getting the HPV vaccine if you’re age 26 or younger:
If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV vaccine to protect against the virus that can cause cervical cancer. A series of shots is given over 6 months. The series of shots is recommended for girls age 11 or 12 and can be given to females ages 9 to 26.
Avoid Toxins and other Poisons at Work and Home:
Stay away from certain chemicals and other things in the environment that can increase your chances of getting cancer. Asbestos, can cause tumors, lung cancer, and other diseases. Unsafe drinking water from a rural well polluted with pesticides or other poisons from a nearby industrial plant could cause allergies, cancer, or other problems.
Try not to use cleaning products, paints, solvents, and pesticides inside the house. If you must use them inside, use a fan to blow strong odors and fumes out of your home. Be aware that paint can release trace gases for months after you apply it. Try to use paint without volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Avoid being exposed to benzene, found in tobacco smoke, stored fuels, paint supplies, and vehicle exhaust inside garages.
Radon is a radioactive gas that causes cancer. Radon is found in rock, soil, water, some building materials, and natural gas. Studies show that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has unsafe levels of radon.