According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is on the increase globally.
Nearly every country in the world has seen an increase in the number of cancer patients. One in six people will develop cancer in their lifetime, causing at least 10 million deaths from this disease every year.
“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Prevention works.” WHO said, adding that preventive measures can save the lives of millions of people over the next decade.
World Cancer Day, commemorated every Feb. 4, raises awareness of cancer and encourages its prevention, detection, and treatment.
Here are some tips for a healthy lifestyle that may reduce your risk of cancer:
- Do not smoke or use any form of tobacco
- Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer, including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney.
- Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.
- Enjoy a healthy diet
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid obesity.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
- Limit processed meat.
In addition, according to Mayo Clinic, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. A Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney.
- Be physically active
- Physical activity might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Avoid too much sun
- Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer, and one of the most preventable.
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible.
- Wear tightly-woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed areas of your skin.
- Opt for bright or dark colors, which absorb more ultraviolet radiation.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
- Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer.
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers, as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and the neck.
- Get enough vitamin D
- According to Harvard Health Publishing, vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies.
- Get regular medical care
- Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers, such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix, and breast can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.
(Prepared by Gabriela Baron)