Sunday, February 10, 2013

Springhill Group: Cancer Prevention

Lifestyle has a big factor in having cancer and also a big factor to avoid it.

Do not overeat; obesity can cause a lot of risk to get cancer.  It’s a major cause of cancers of the esophagus, colon and rectum, pancreas, breast, endometrium, and kidneys.  Overeating can encourage tumor growth.  Tumors entail a lot more energy to absorb nutrients and grow and divide faster than a normal, healthy cell.  Control your diet.  Eat sufficient and not more than what your body needs.

Exercise can reduce you risk for many types of cancer.  Being fit seems to have an anti-cancer effect in itself aside from helping you loose weight.  Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, you can exercise at home a 30 minute a day at least 5 days a week can help cancer prevention.

Limit your alcohol intake; we need to be careful about how much alcohol we drink. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly increases your risk factor for many types of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colon and rectum, and breast; and also causes cirrhosis, which raises the risk of liver cancer.  More than 2 drinks of alcohol a day for men and 1 alcohol drink for women a day can increase risk factors for certain types of cancer.

The most significant cancer risk factor that we can reduce is smoking.  Many though that smoking is only responsible for lung cancer but little did they know that it also causes many types of cancer.  Second hand smoke is even dangerous because this contains more than 60 known carcinogens’.  These carcinogens interrupt normal cell development. This interference is what ignites cancer development.  It is the smoke exhaled from a smoker or a lit cigarette, pipe or cigar.

A well-balanced diet is beneficial for countless reasons.  Eating fruits and vegetables can protect against several cancers, they contain antioxidants, we should eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day.  Antioxidants help repair our damaged cells.  Green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are your best bet to help prevent cancer.  Studies also demonstrate that dark fruits, like blueberries and grapes, may also have anti-cancer properties.
According to many studies, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower appear to pack a powerful punch at preventing cancer.  Additional cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

Although meat is a terrific source of protein it is probably the most surprising finding that red meat was convincingly linked to colorectal cancer, along side with processed meat.  Red meat contains much more fat than poultry and fish and studies shown that a diet high in animal fat increases the risk for several types of cancer.  A diet high in fat also is major cause of obesity, which is a risk factor for many types of cancer.  The more meat you eat, the greater the risk is.  About 30% increase in cancer risk factor is added to meat consumers compare to non-eater.  500 grams* of red meat is the only amount recommended in a week and avoid processed meat such as bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and some sausages. Legumes such as beans, lentils and soybeans are good substitutes for protein source.

Another reason not to eat red meat too much according to some scientists is cooking at high temperatures (another reason to curb your barbecue cravings) and red meat’s natural glycoproteins, which induce chronic inflammation in human tissue.

Foods high in folate possibly will reduce the risk of cancer of the pancreas, and diets high in calcium may reduce the risk of bowel cancer.  Additional recommendations include:

  • limit consumption of salt
  • don't take vitamin supplements – you don't need them and some have been linked to cancer
  • Mothers should breastfeed babies for the first six months: breastfeeding protects women against breast and other cancers.
  • Eating too many carbohydrates can also lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn, could encourage tumor growth.

Most cancer can be avoided and it is easier than you think.  Lifestyle plays a big role in cancer prevention; you can drastically reduce your risk if you change your lifestyle soon.

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