Prevention is the most powerful weapon for treating cancer.
Over the last decades, there has been a dramatic increase in cancer cases worldwide. In our country, the most common type is lung cancer that counts the highest rates of morbidity and mortality, followed by breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate and bladder cancer.
What is cancer?
The term cancer is used for a group of diseases characterized by abnormal cell proliferation. Carcinogenicity is a series of mutations that occur in healthy cells, resulting them to become cancerous, not having a normal life cycle, but also growing and proliferating uncontrollably thus creating tumors (benign or malignant). Malignant tumors, unlike benign tumors, attack nearby tissues and gradually spread to other cells and organs in the body.
There are over 100 types of cancer and each type has its own risk factors. The most common factors that contribute to cancer mortality are:
- heredity (5%)
- smoking (30%)
- infection by carcinogens and viruses (~ 10%)
- poor diet (30%)
- lack of physical activity (5%)
- alcohol (3%)
- obesity (30%)
- environmental factors (~ 5%)
Certain risk factors, unfortunately, can not be changed. However, there are many habits that can be changed to prevent or significantly reduce the likelihood of having cancer.
See the 6 key steps to prevent cancer
Cut off smoking
It is now widely known that smoking is associated with increased risk of many types of cancer, such as lung cancer and esophagus cancer. According to studies, 30% of cancer cases are due to cigarettes, while quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of having cancer.
Get a healthy body weight
When obesity is combined with an unhealthy diet is the second biggest cause of morbidity and cancer mortality. In particular, overweight and obese people are at increased risk for developing endometrial, breast, prostate and bowel cancer. In addition, individuals with a body mass index > 25kg / m2 should change their eating habits and lifestyle to gain a normal body weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9kg / m2).
Adopt healthy eating habits
Many studies have shown that western diet, which is characterized by increased consumption of red meat and saturated fat, is associated with cancer mainly of the gastrointestinal tract. Avoid high protein diets, with high meat and calorie consumption and emphasize in whole grain cereals, fibers and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Limit alcohol consumption
Increased alcohol consumption has been associated with cancer of the esophagus, breast, mouth, liver and intestine. According to recommendations, men should consume less than two portions of alcohol per day, while women less than one.
Many epidemiological studies have shown that people who exercise often have less changes of developing cancer. In addition, exercise seems to have a protective effect against cancer regarding female reproductive system.
Protect from sunlight and radiation
Even though sun exposure is necessary for the health, irrational exposure causes the opposite effect. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation leads to melanoma and skin cancer