12 Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cancer

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We all know how Cancer impacts people’s lives, you don’t have to have had it yourself, or even had a family member with the condition to know how traumatic it can be. Just the word ‘Cancer’ strikes fear and dismay in most people’s hearts, this stems from the high fatality rate associated with the condition even though death rates are significantly reducing in recent times. With this said, 2014 is estimated to see an estimated 9 million people die of Cancer worldwide, this is from 58 million deaths worldwide from all causes. This is a morbid subject, I know it’s not nice to talk about and even entertain in your thoughts, but it’s often this kind of ‘head in the sand’ attitude that exposes people to such conditions as the ‘big C’. Flip this attitude to one that’s more positive and start thinking about the ways that you can maximise your chances of avoiding Cancer.

Giving health and nutritional recommendations is like a detective trying to convict a criminal, in other words, you have to provide adequate evidence to support a conviction. This goes for health and nutritional claims too, so when formulating such claims it is good practice for them to be supported by robust, evidence based research. Arguably one of the most robust institutions in the world is The World Health organisation (WHO). WHO have recently amended the European Code Against Cancer enabling you to take every precaution necessary to keep Cancer at bay…whether you do or not is entirely down to you. The 12 recommendations are as follows:

 

  • Do not smoke… In fact, the recommendation is to avoid ANY type of tobacco

 

  • Ensure that your home is smoke free… As well as this, it is good for businesses and workplaces to adhere to the smoke- free policies enforced by UK law

 

  • Take action to be a healthy bodyweight… Research has shown that being overweight, and particularly obese is a risk factor for Cancer

 

  • Be physically active in everyday life… Basically try to limit the amount of time you spend sitting/ sedentary. Try to get a minimum of 30mins physical activity a day, which ideally increases heart to above resting

 

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet… Aim to consume plenty of wholegrains, pulses, vegetables and fruit. Try to limit high calorie foods, particularly those high in sugar and fat. Sugary drinks appear to be a particular problem. Processed meat should be limited, as well as limiting red meat and foods high in salt

 

  • Limit alcohol intake… In fact, cut it out if you can, alcohol is problematic when trying to avoid cancer

 

  • Avoid too much sun… Use sun protection where possible and avoid sunbeds

 

  • Avoid cancer causing substances… Especially in the work place by following health and safety precautions as best you can

 

  • Avoid exposure to radiation… at least to the best of your power. Try to reduce your exposure to high radon levels when out and at home

 

  • For women… women that are breastfeeding have a reduced risk of cancer in general. Hormone replacement therapies can also increase the risk of some cancers, so try to reduce the use of HRT

 

  • Adhere to vaccination programmes… Especially jabs such as Hepatitis B (in newborns) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for girls

 

  • Take part in cancer screening programmes… Specifically organised cancer screening programmes are held for Bowel cancer (men and women), Breast cancer (women) and Cervical cancer (women)

 

Reference

World Health Organisation, (2014). European Code Against Cancer. 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk. Retrieved 21st October, 2014, from http://cancer-code-europe.iarc.fr/index.php/en/

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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