Experts say cancer can be caused by bad luck, environment or heredity, but environment plays a major role in increasing or decreasing your chances of getting cancer. According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, the root cause of most cancers lies in the environment and lifestyle and only 5-10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects.
Some lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity and physical inactivity are known risk factors for cancer, the report said. “Evidence suggests that of all cancer-related deaths, about 25-30% are due to tobacco, 30-35% are linked to diet, about 15-20% are due to infection, and the remaining percentage is due to radiation, stress, to other factors such as physical activity, environmental pollutants, etc.,” the report says.
Dr Sandeep Nayak, Senior Director, Surgical Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute in Bengaluru in an interview with HT Digital shared ways to reduce your chances of developing cancer by making some lifestyle changes.
“Cancer is a disease that has affected humanity for centuries, and while advances in medicine have greatly improved our ability to diagnose and treat, preventing cancer from occurring in the first place is still the most effective way of tackling the disease.” way. While there’s no surefire way to prevent cancer, there are some lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce your risk, says Dr. Nayak.
Here are five ways to reduce your chances of developing cancer:
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for reducing the risk of cancer. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods and red meat may help protect against cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may help protect against cancer, while processed foods and red meat have been linked to an increased risk. In particular, diets rich in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity is essential for reducing the risk of cancer. Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming. Studies have shown that regular physical activity not only lowers the risk of cancer, but also improves overall health and well-being.
3. Avoid tobacco use
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and is responsible for nearly half of all cancer deaths. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. In addition to oral and lung cancer, smoking has been linked to an increased risk of several other types of cancer, including bladder, pancreas, and throat cancer.
4. Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and liver cancer. It is best to limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Besides cancer, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to many other health problems, including liver disease and heart disease.
5. Protect yourself from the sun
Sun protection is essential to prevent skin cancer. To protect yourself, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wear protective clothing, and avoid prolonged sun exposure in the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are strongest. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any changes in your skin and to have any suspicious moles or spots checked by a dermatologist.
“Remember that no one can guarantee that you will never get cancer, and no action can prevent it, but by making these changes, you can create a healthier environment for your body to function in. In addition, it is important to see a doctor regularly, and to be aware of any signs or symptoms that may be related to cancer. It is never too early or too late to start these changes and take control of your health. does not happen,” concluded Dr Nayak.