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10 Ways to Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs. 

Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis.

There are a number of warning signs that may serve as an indication of cancer, some of these are:

  • A Sore that Doesn’t Heal or Continues to Bleed, or a Lump or Thickening on the Skin or in the mouth.
  • A Thickening or Lump Anywhere in the Body.
  • Unusual Bleeding or Discharge from any Body Opening.
  • A Persistent Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits.
  • A Persistent Cough or Hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in Swallowing or Persistent Indigestion. 
  • Any Change in a Wart or Mole.

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms and should not be used to self diagnose. 

The key to any preventive action is to seek medical advise whenever you discover any patterns you deem to be abnormal to you.

However, we will be focusing on how to prevent this deadly disease.

Below we highlight ten(10) of the best ways identified in the help to prevent cancer:

1. Drink green Tea

  • Research carried out by scientists have found that Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, which scientists think contribute to its anticancer activity. Laboratory studies of one polyphenol, catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), show that it may interfere with several processes involved in cell replication, causing tumor cell death.

2. Exercise regularly

  • Regular exercise can help reduce cancer risk and also help with quality of life.  Being active can affect the levels of some hormones in our body. Hormones are chemical messages that are carried around our body to tell different parts what to do. Oestrogen and insulin are both hormones.
  • Cancer starts when cells divide too much and multiply out of control. 
  • Oestrogen could encourage cells in the breast to divide more often. If you’re doing a lot of activity it can reduce the levels of oestrogen, helping to prevent breast cancer.
  • Insulin could also affect how cells multiply. Being very active can reduce levels of insulin and help prevent cancer.

3. Go for regular medical checkups

Not too long ago, people used to see their doctor only when they were sick, or dying. This should no longer be the case, preventative health care should form part of your lifestyle. It is better to preemptively seek medical advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle. This approach will help you lower the risk of various conditions or diseases.

Doctors are also requesting that patients get regular check-ups to help stay on top of their health. They are highlighting the importance of prevention, as a means to reduce the number of patients requiring medical treatment or surgery.

Regular check-ups can help find potential health issues before they become a problem. When you see your doctor regularly, they are able to detect health conditions or diseases early. Early detection gives you the best chance for getting the right treatment quickly, avoiding any complications. By getting the correct health services, screenings, and treatment you are taking important steps toward living a longer, healthier life.

4. Reduce Sugary Drinks and eating of many high glycemic index foods

There are many scientific studies which highlight the link between Carbohydrates, blood sugar and cancer

  1. Every cell in your body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But cancer cells use about 200 times more than normal cells. 
  2. Consuming sugary drinks and eating many high glycemic index foods can lead to obesity and  obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer
  3. If you eat sugar rich and many high glycemic index foods all by themselves, especially if you are insulin-resistant, there can be a greater spike in your blood sugars. These spikes can results in an increased release of insulin like growth factor which can help cancer cells grow.

5. Reduce your consumption of Processed Meats

Red meat is associated with an increased risk of colon and rectum cancers. There is also increasing scientific evidence  of red meat consumption and the association with other cancers such as prostate and pancreatic. Red meat is high in fats, salt and nitrates. Eating a lot of processed meats can increase your risk of cancer.

If you are a lover of red meat, it is advised to limit your consumption and where possible mix with oily fish and white meat e.g. Chicken.

6. Drink Responsibly

Alcohol is a group 1 carcinogen, which means that there is enough evidence to show that alcohol causes cancer

Drinking alcohol in excess can increase your risk of getting some cancers. Also, there is added risk for those who regularly drink.

Heavy drinking can also cause cirrhosis of the liver (where damage to the liver causes scar tissues to build up) which can then also lead to cancer.

7. Quit Smoking

Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. These cancer-causing chemicals are referred to as carcinogens. Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:· 

  • Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effect people are looking for and one of the harshest chemicals in tobacco smoke)
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Ammonia
  • Radioactive elements, such as uranium (see below)
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrosamines
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

For almost a decade now cigarette packs have had to carry health warnings informing the smokers of the risk of smoking.

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK
Chemicals in cigarette smoke enter our blood stream and can then affect the entire body, this is why smoking causes so many different types of cancer. 

8. Add Garlic to your diet

Garlic conjures up many superstitions – but that it has cancer fighting properties is not one of them. There are many scientific studies which show that garlic intake is strongly associated with a reduced risk of cancers, particularly in the case of gastric or intestinal cancer. Available data confirm that garlic has effective components for killing cancer cells. 

Multiple international organizations, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), and the World Health Organization (WHO), have recommended that the intake of garlic in a routine diet is linked to reduced risks of cancer. 

9. Get Vitamin D regularly

We all need vitamin D because it helps build and maintain strong bones. Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight.

This is the main way of getting this vitamin, but it can also be found in foods such as egg yolks, fresh or tinned oily fish like mackerel and sardines, fish liver oils and some margarine and fortified cereals.

Research carried out suggests that vitamin D has anti-tumor properties, regulating genes involved in the multiplication and spread of cancer

10. Get good quality sleep

Direct links between sleep and cancer is still a bit controversial. However good quality sleep in and of itself does have many functions it performs to ones health: 

Sleep is an important part of physical and mental health.

While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best.

Getting the sleep we need:

Improves our ability to learn, remember, and solve problems.
Lowers blood pressure and gives the heart and blood vessels the rest they need.

Helps certain hormones control the following:
Growth.
The repair of cells and tissues.
The immune system (to fight infection).
Blood sugar levels (which affect energy).
Appetite.

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