Cancer Risk Reducing Habits: Daily healthy habits to reduce cancer risk |

Reducing the risk of cancer doesn’t always require drastic changes; sometimes, it’s the small lifestyle adjustments that can make a significant difference. With more than 2 million cancer diagnoses and over 610,000 cancer-related deaths recorded in 2023 by the National Cancer Institute, there’s a pressing need for proactive measures. Shockingly, research suggests that more than 40% of cancer cases and nearly half of cancer-related deaths could have been prevented.While advancements in treatment have improved survival rates, the emphasis on prevention remains paramount in alleviating the burden of cancer on society.

Maintaining healthy weight

One of the most impactful lifestyle changes individuals can make is to maintain a healthy weight and an active lifestyle. Studies show that excess weight can lead to increased production and circulation of hormones like estrogen and insulin, which can fuel cancer growth. By keeping weight in check through regular exercise and a balanced diet, the risk of various cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney, can be significantly reduced.

Avoid using tobacco

According to Dr. Bhavna Bansal Senior Consultant and HOD, Histopathology – Oncquest Laboratories, “Tobacco use remains one of the leading causes of preventable cancer deaths globally, contributing to approximately 30% of all cancer-related fatalities. The harmful effects of tobacco are well-documented, with links to numerous cancers such as lung, mouth, esophageal, pancreatic, and kidney cancer. Avoiding all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, is crucial in lowering cancer risk, as is minimizing exposure to passive smoke.”

Consume healthy diet

Adopting healthy dietary habits can also play a pivotal role in cancer prevention. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes provides essential nutrients and antioxidants that help protect against cancer. Additionally, incorporating spices like turmeric, garlic, and ginger into meals not only enhances flavour but also offers potential anticancer properties. Adequate intake of Vitamin D is equally important, as low levels have been linked to an increased risk of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer.

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Safeguard skin from sun

Protecting the skin from harmful UV radiation is imperative for preventing skin cancer, the most common type of cancer worldwide. Simple measures such as wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and applying sunscreen can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer while still allowing for adequate vitamin D absorption from sunlight.

Promote routine screening and check-ups

Regular screenings and self-exams are vital components of cancer prevention and early detection. Healthcare professionals recommend breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer screenings to detect abnormalities at their earliest stages when treatment is most effective.

Get vaccinated

Vaccinations against certain viral infections can also mitigate cancer risk. The HPV vaccine, for instance, protects against the strains of the human papillomavirus responsible for cervical cancer, while the hepatitis B vaccine helps prevent liver cancer caused by hepatitis B infection.
In a nutshell, while cancer statistics may seem daunting, the power to reduce its risk lies within everyday choices and habits. By prioritizing prevention through small lifestyle adjustments, individuals can take proactive steps to minimize their susceptibility to this disease. However, it’s imperative to complement these efforts with regular screenings and medical check-ups for timely diagnosis. Through a combination of prevention and early detection, the battle against cancer can be fought with greater resilience and hope for a healthier future.

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