About every third of Indians will develop some form of cancer in the course of their life. Despite these dismal statistics, doctors have made great strides in understanding cancer cell biology and have improved cancer diagnosis and treatment.
But instead of just waiting for a breakthrough, there are many things you can do now to protect yourself.
- Don’t use tobacco
Consuming any type of tobacco puts you on the verge of cancer. Smoking has been linked to a number of cancers – including cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidneys. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer.
2. Eat healthy
While making healthy choices at the grocery store and at meals can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it can reduce the risk. Follow this guide:
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and legumes.
Maintain a healthy weight. Eat lighter and leaner foods and choose foods that are less high in calories, including refined sugars and animal fats.
3.Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney cancers.
Physical activity also plays a role. Physical activity alone will not only help you control your weight, but it can also lower your risk of breast cancer and colon cancer
4. Beware of the sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer – and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:
Avoid the midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 and 16 hours when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Stay in the shade. If possible, stay outdoors in the shade. Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat also help.
Cover any exposed areas. Wear tight, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Choose light or dark colors that reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply every two hours — or more often if you swim or sweat.
Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps. They are as harmful as natural sunlight.
5. Get vaccinated
Cancer prevention includes protection against certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against:
Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for some adults who are at high risk – such as adults who are sexually active but not monogamous, people with sexually transmitted infections, people taking intravenous drugs, men who have sex with men, and health or public safety workers who have blood or contaminated body fluids may be exposed.