Cancer is a general term used to describe numerous diseases affecting the body. Although cancer is a dreaded word, the fact is that it affects many people in all walks of life. In most cases, the cause of cancer is unknown. Experts believe that the risk of developing cancer could be based on genetics and a person’s lifestyle.
Each cancer has different indicators and symptoms, but most cancer is caused primarily by cell abnormalities or large gaps in the DNA. Most cancers, when there is early cancer detection, are generally treated as curable.
Risk Factors And Causes Of Cancers
Developing cancer is partially hereditary and is influenced by your risk factors for developing cancer. Your risk factors include your gender, your race, your family history, and your early childhood development. These risk factors can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers including lung cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, and skin cancer. Some of these risk factors, like smoking, are unavoidable, but others like being male and being female and living in certain places increase your risk of developing some cancers.
One of the possible causes of cancer is genetics. If your parents had or do have cancer, the chances are good that you might as well. Researchers have recently discovered that your genetic makeup may help determine whether or not you will develop cancer. There has been a lot of research on the role genetics plays in determining whether or not you will develop certain types of cancers.
One of the environmental cancer-causing factors is radiation. It has been studied and thought that too much exposure to radiation increases your risk for certain types of cancers.
This is because radiation when present in certain wavelengths has enough energy to damage or alter the sequence of the DNA and cause cancer. Radiation includes radon, gamma rays, x-rays and other forms of high-energy radiation.
The food you eat can also contain carcinogenic substances. This is because certain carcinogens are naturally present in the foods you eat. But when these carcinogens become introduced into the environment via pollution or other means, they can cause an increase in the risk of developing cancer. One of the commonly found carcinogens is nitrosamines. Other carcinogenic substances include ammonia, benzene, ether, and others.
The lifestyle you lead can also affect your risk. Cigarette smoking not only kills you slowly, but over time it increases your chances of contracting several types of cancers including lung, throat, oesophagal, and oral cancer.
Aside from smoking, poor dietary habits are bad for your overall health, but they also increase your chances of developing cancer. Diets that consist of a poor amount of fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables, and eating too much red meat is associated with significantly increased risks of developing some cancers.
How To Live Healthily And Prevent Cancer
A healthy lifestyle means you eat healthily, do exercise, and avoid activities that can be harmful to the body. Taking care of your body with healthy practices helps reduce the risk of developing cancers. Here are the most important things you should do to keep your body healthy:
1. Avoid Smoking
Those that smoke cigarettes are at a higher risk of dying from cancer because cigarettes cause higher levels of certain toxins in the body. Effects of smoking harm nearly every organ in the body.
Inhaled tobacco smoke contains large amounts of chemicals that damage the lungs. When these chemicals reach the bloodstream, they bind to the proteins and other tissues located there. Over time, the body develops an immunity to the poisons in tobacco smoke and the damage becomes irreversible. Damage to the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, heart, and lungs is the most common type of long-term health effects of smoking.
Lung cancer is the most serious effect of smoking. It was estimated that approximately two million people were diagnosed with lung cancer globally in 2018, many of whom would never have survived if they had not quit smoking.
2. Eat A Well Balanced Diet
For your body to function at its best, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet containing the correct proportion of nutrients. Most people do not consume a balanced diet in a way that is necessary to maintain good health. A balanced diet provides your body with important nutrients: fluids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fats. A balanced diet should also include some amount of carbohydrates and proteins.
Your plate should be filled with several different types of food sources including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and other food groups.
A well-balanced meal also consists of some healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, olives, flaxseeds and walnuts. These healthy fats will help you cut down on your bad cholesterol. Remember to also include fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel) on your menu at least twice a week.
3. Maintain Your Weight With Regular Exercise
Obesity increases the risk of a person developing many diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer. This is the reason why it’s important to maintain healthy body weight to prevent the development of these diseases.
Regular physical activity is important to good health and physical well-being. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, like coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart attack, and can even prevent some forms of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
4. Protect Yourself From The Sun
Skin cancer is one of the common types of cancer today. Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to the sun. This type of cancer is preventable and here are some tips to protect yourself from the sun:
- Avoid going out to the heat during midday.
- When going out, always stay in the shade.
- Protect yourself by wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers large areas of your skin.
- Wear bright colours when going out so it’ll reflect the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- Always use sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend using at least SPF 30 even when you’re staying indoors.
By protecting yourself from the harsh rays of the sun, you reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
5. Get Vaccinated
Some cancers can be prevented through vaccination. Cervical cancer vaccination is becoming a more popular option in countries where the prevalence of the disease has been on the increase. Although it’s still unclear what causes cervical cancer the human papillomavirus or HPV is found to have a role in it. So sexually active women are recommended to get HPV vaccinations to help them get protected.
Preventing cancer is possible with lifestyle changes. Cancer prevention through a healthy diet and the use of tobacco is not as complicated as most people believe. Most people know that quitting smoking is one of the most important steps in preventing cancer. This is because smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. Smoking leads to an increase in blood pressure and other health issues too.
A healthy lifestyle also includes eating a well-balanced meal and doing regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Lastly, make sure you get protected, whether it’s from the rays of the sun or cancer-causing viruses like HPV.
Jack Hill is a successful blogger who specializes in creating and publishing articles on health and wellness. Jack also collaborates with other influencers in the industry to submit guest posts.