February 4 is World Cancer Day. Living with cancer can be difficult for both the patient and their loved ones. Whether you are undergoing treatment for cancer or have just recovered from it, you still need to be cautious and ensure that you do not ignore your health. Below are seven things you should know about the dreaded disease:
1. Tobacco is your enemy. Tobacco multiplies your chances of cancer, no thanks to the 4000 cancer producing agents it contains that damage the healthy cells and cause growth of cancer cells. If you are suffering from lung, esophagus, stomach, pancreas ororal cancer, stay away from all tobacco or nicotine products. Even passive smoking can be dangerous.
2. Alcohol isn’t your friend either.Alcohol consumption can increase mortality risk and cancer by almost 38 percent according to a research conducted across 11 countries, including India. Your immunity is low at this stage. Alcohol intake, when suffering from cancer, can increase risk of liver damage.
3. Sugar is not so sweet. Cancer and sugar are buddies. Several studies have indicated that consumption of high sugar drinks and sweets can fuel up the survival of cancer cells. Moreover, sugar weakens the immune system and increases your chance of infection which can be dangerous when you are undergoing treatment for cancer.
4. Be conscious of what you eat and drink. High roughage diet is associated with reduced risks for several cancers, especially colon cancer. Studies have shown that eating red meat or processed meat can cause bowel cancer particularly colorectal andstomach cancer. Consume raw fruits and vegetables to prevent gastrointestinal enzyme depletion and organ exhaustion. Take in at least 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, preferably organic, and definitely the most colourful you can find. Drink clean water without excessive chlorine or chemicals. Chlorine kills your natural intestinal bacteria, which support your immune system. To protect yourself, install a good filter on your kitchen faucet that removes chlorine and other chemicals.
5. Make exercise your buddy. Engage yourself in regular exercise—research shows that exercise is directly connected with prevention of breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Avoid being overweight and maintain your body weight within normal range for your height. Increases in BMI are linked to endometrial, gall bladder, esophageal, renal, thyroid andcolon cancer. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise is known to lower the risk of bowel cancer and breast cancer.
6. Don’t compromise on hygiene. Poor oral hygiene is also one of the leading causes of cancer. If you are recovering from oral cancer or under treatment, ensure you follow proper hygiene. On the other hand, oral or mouth cancer can lead to gum diseases and other dental problems.
7. Stay away from cancer causing substances. Excessive Radiation exposures and some chemicals are known to cause cancer. For example, ionizing radiation that comes from gamma rays, high-energy UV rays and X-rays is linked to cancers of the lung, skin, thyroid, breast and stomach. Avoid taking hormone replacement therapy to treat symptoms ofmenopause. A number of studies have linked hormone use to an increased risk ofuterine cancer.