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7 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 02 February 2021, Updated on - 02 August 2022

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Many of us are concerned about the increasing prevalence of cancer in the population. Some are also worried about their own risk of developing cancer. However, what is not known is the fact that the risk of cancer can be reduced, and in some cases, it can be prevented as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 30% to 50% of all cancer cases around the world can be prevented.
Medical and healthcare experts opine that an individual’s risk of developing cancer is influenced heavily by his or her lifestyle and dietary choices. Therefore, people who wish to prevent cancer or reduce their risk should consider following these tips.

Scientifically-proven tips to prevent or reduce the risk of cancer

1. Quit smoking

Smoking is also associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer such as lung, colon, breast, cervical, bladder, pancreas, kidney, throat, oral and esophageal. In fact, even exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of cancer.

2. Follow a healthy diet

A healthy diet plays a major role in reducing the risk of cancer. Such a diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, berries, and seeds. These foods are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants that protect human cells against cancer-causing DNA damage. Besides eating healthy, the diet also focuses on reducing the intake of refined sugars, processed foods, saturated fats, and alcoholic beverages, all of which can increase the risk of cancer.

3. Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight or losing a few kilos can reduce the risk of cancer to a great extent. According to researchers, being overweight or obese increases an individual’s risk of having cancer, especially of the breast, uterus, pancreas, colorectal, esophageal, and gallbladder. Therefore, people who are overweight or obese should try to shed extra kilos to lower their risk of cancer.

4. Increase physical activity

Reducing the risk of cancer should be one of the reasons why people must increase their levels of physical activity. As discussed above, being overweight or obese can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Regular physical activity can help support weight loss and lower the risk of cancer. To reap the health benefits, it is important to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day.

5. Get immunized

Certain viruses are known to cause cancer but can be prevented through vaccination. Viral infections such as Hepatitis B and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) can increase the risk of liver cancer and cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat, respectively. People who are at risk of Hepatitis B and HPV should consider getting vaccinated against these conditions.

6.  Avoid risky behaviour

One of the effective ways of preventing cancer is to avoid risky behaviours that can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HPV or HIV. Both these STIs are linked to an elevated risk of several types of cancer. Practising safe sex techniques like limiting the number of sexual partners and using condoms can reduce the risk of STIs and cancer.

7.  Avoid toxic chemicals

Exposure to chemicals called carcinogens can damage the DNA of human cells and raise the risk of cancer. Asbestos, radon, and benzene are some of the commonly available carcinogens that people come into contact with at home or office. While it may not be possible to avoid contact with all the carcinogens, efforts should be made to find other alternative safe options or reduce the exposure to these chemicals to as little as possible.

Recommended Read: 7 Warning Signs of Cancer

Conclusion

The incidence of cancer in the population is increasing steadily but many of the cancer cases can be prevented by making suitable changes to diet and lifestyle. These measures should be complemented with regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers. This will help increase the chances of detecting and treating cancer early.
For any cancer-related queries, you can:

Talk to an Oncologist

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