- Cancer: Do not use tobacco and quit smoking
- Drink less alcohol. The less you drink, the lower is the risk of cancer
- Avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people diagnosed with cancer increased by almost 10 million in the past two decades. Of the newly diagnosed cancers, breast cancer is the most common (12%), followed by lung cancer (11%), colorectal cancer (10%) and prostate cancer (7%). By 2040, it has been predicted that the number of newly diagnosed cases of cancer will be nearly 50% higher than in 2020, reports WHO. Several cancers can be cured if they are diagnosed on time and treated properly. Vaccination can help preventing certain cancers like cervical cancer (HPV vaccine) and liver cancer (hepatitis B).
Ways to lower your risk of cancer
Believe it or not, several kinds of cancers can be prevented and well-managed by following a healthy lifestyle. WHO shared some of these lifestyle measures on Instagram recently. Here are they:
1. Do not use tobacco
Tobacco use is considered to be a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer, according to National Cancer Institute. Regular use of tobacco or being exposed to secondhand smoke can increase risk of cancer. Cancers of Lung, larynx, mouth, throat, oesophagus, kidney, liver, stomach, colon, pancreas, rectum and cervix can be caused by use of tobacco. Quit smoking and tobacco use in all forms in order to reduce the risk of cancer.
2. Exercise regularly
The American Cancer Society says that being regular at exercise can reduce the risk of 13 kinds of cancer including that of oesophagus, liver, stomach, kidneys, myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma, head and neck, rectum, bladder and lungs. Make sure that you do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 90 minutes of high intensity exercise every week. Apart from exercising regularly, it is also important to stay physically active throughout the day and prevent long hours of sitting.
3. Drink less alcohol
The less alcohol you drink, the lower is your risk of cancer. Excessive intake of alcohol on a regular basis can increase the risk of cancer of the mouth and throat, oesophagus, colon and rectum, liver and breast (in women), according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. All kinds of alcoholic drinks, including cocktails, red wine and white wine, are linked to cancer. The more you drink, the higher is your risk of cancer.
4. Avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time
Exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun can result in early ageing of the skin and can also increase the risk of skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute instructs that sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am to 4 pm. They can go through light clothing, windshields, windows and clouds. They can be reflected by sand, water, snow, ice and pavement. Avoid spending too much time in the sun and do not forget to apply sunscreen.
5. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy a nourishing diet can take you a long way in terms of building immunity and being cancer and disease-free. Avoid processed and packaged foods and stick to naturally grown, organic and homemade foods most of the times. Your diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds.
All of these lifestyle measures can together reduce your risk of developing cancer and may even help manage it. Let’s beat cancer!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.