Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. However, people fail to understand that it isn’t caused by bad luck or fate, but rather the lifestyle choices we settle for. You might be a weightlifter, keeping fit daily, but you stand a similar chance of contracting cancer to a guy who has never been to the gym his whole life. It all depends on the choices you make throughout your life.
Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, processed foods, radiation, junk food, are all but a few samples of the things that expose us to risks of getting the disease. Reducing the risks for cancer is easier than you thought, and all it takes is a little sacrifice and some effort. According to Dr. Sandeep Nayak, one of the best oncologists in India and a renowned cancer specialist in Bangalore, research shows up to one-half of the cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviour.
Research has confirmed that doing the “right” thing doesn’t exclude you from the risks of contracting this disease. Many of these cancer contributing factors are however, avoidable or controllable and here are eight lifestyle changes to prevent cancer.
1. Limit your Alcohol Consumption
It comes as no surprise to know that excessive use of alcohol not only affects your liver adversely but also exposes you to higher risks of contracting cancer. While some types of alcohol such as wine, have proven to carry their advantages to your body, abusing these benefits can be catastrophic and cancerous.
For example, consuming at least two alcoholic drinks a day increases your chances of getting cancer. Try cutting back on your intake for alcohol, and you will see significant and positive changes in your body.
2. Be Sure to Exercise Regularly
The phrase “you need to exercise to stay fit” has been a cliché in almost everyone’s lives. However, people fail to realize that exercising not only keeps you healthy but also reduces your chances of contracting various types of cancer.
This doesn’t mean that you need to get a gym membership and start lifting weights or stretching your body beyond its limits in yoga classes. Medical professionals recommend that an average of about 45 minutes of exercise a day is enough to lower the risks of getting cancer.
For example, gardening a few times a week is known to reduce the risks of lung cancer. On the other hand, moderate exercises improve your cardiovascular health while significantly reducing the chances of contracting colon cancer.
3. Include Fruits and Vegetables into your Diet
A well-balanced diet is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as it comes with loads of advantages. However, it is always recommended that your diet should mostly consist of fruits and vegetables as not only does it prevent cases of heart diseases or diabetes, but it also reduces the risk of cancer in your body. These fruits and vegetables, and especially berries and green vegetables, contain potent antioxidants that assist in repairing damaged tissue cells and also have anti-cancer properties.
4. Avoid Smoking or Exposing Yourself to Smoke
While smoking is ranked as the most significant risk for cancer, it can be effectively controlled because it poses risks for common lung cancer. Smoking is very addictive and the best way to cut your chances with cancer is never to try it out or adversely quit smoking.
However, if you’re in on it too deep, you are advised to seek medical or rehabilitation assistance to help you stop. Active smokers aren’t the only ones at risk of contracting cancer as passive ones can also get affected. You are at a similar risk as a passive smoker as the active ones because passive smokers also get addicted.
5. Reduce your Intake of Red Meat
Studies have linked large amounts of animal fat to several types of cancer such as colon cancer and this makes red meat a threat to your body. However, the intake of packaged and processed meats poses an even higher risk of cancer than people realize.
It isn’t a rule that you have to stop eating red meat, but moderating your intake of it can significantly help lower the risk of contracting cancer.
Also, pay close attention to how the meat is prepared because undercooked and overcooked meat can be dangerous as well. Try margination of the meat to reduce carcinogenic contents or trimming of the fat to prevent cases of breast cancer.
6. Be Cautious of What you’re Being Exposed to
Cancer isn’t only caused by practices or habits that are intentional. There are times where you may be exposed to chemicals around your home or workplace without your attention. These chemicals can come in the form of aerosols, cleaners, acids and even soaps.
You are therefore required to take the time to read the labels on every product around you before using it, be it at home or your workplace. Also, always take precautionary measures when handling such chemicals by wearing gloves or ventilation masks to prevent them from reacting with your skin or inhaling them.
7. Get in Touch with your Family Medical Record
There are specific genes we inherit within our families that can predispose you to various types of cancer such as breast cancer. If your family has a medical of the disease, you might not be able to change it but that doesn’t mean that you are deemed to contract the same king of cancer. Knowing your family medical history puts you at a better advantage of making better choices that could help you reduce your chances of acquiring the disease.
The concerned medical professional will work with you to identify the various factors within your family that have led to the previous high risks and, thus, formulate excellent strategies to help reduce the risks.
8. Get Regular Health Check-Ups
Getting annual health check-ups and screening for cancer can help with early detection of signs and symptoms of cancer. Screening can help detect various cellular changes before they transform into harmful threats but can only be effective regularly.
Early detection of cancer before it gets to its late stages puts you in a better position to fight the disease better and spare you of all the high costs associated with late treatment.
It may seem easy, but adapting to a new lifestyle takes time and sacrifice, but the effort is worth it if it involves lowering your risks of contracting cancer. Make the right choices concerning your lifestyle, and you’ll realize that you don’t even need a gym to stay healthy.