'Awareness today, a cure tomorrow' is a commonly quoted saying about cancer. Regardless, doctors say that no cancer is 100% preventable. However, you can do your best to stay healthy by making healthy lifestyle choices that help reduce the risk of getting the disease. Here are a few simple steps you can take toward the same
1. Avoid smoking
Both smoking and passive smoking (inhaling smoke from someone else's smoking) can cause cancer. Passive smoking is a significant factor leading to lung cancer in non-smokers. Therefore, make sure that you avoid both, as much as you can. The use of tobacco and chewing of the paan should also be avoided.
2. Drinking alcohol poses a threat
Consuming alcohol can contribute to seven types of cancers. The consumption of alcohol, regardless of its make and type, poses a threat to the disease. It is advisable to quit consumption of liquor altogether rather than attempting to reduce the quantity consumed if you are serious about keeping cancer away.
3. Shed overweight
An increase in body fat raises the chances of developing various types of cancers, such as pancreatic cancer. Reduce excess weight and ensure that your weight is proportional to your height.
4. Stay active
Minimize time spent idling. Engage in small tasks and physical activities throughout the day. Allocate at least 30 minutes for physical exercise every day.
5. Shelter from sunlight
Although skin cancer is rare in our country, protect your skin from harmful radiation by using sunscreen even when there is no sunlight when you step out.
6. Women must exercise caution
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Girls should be administered the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. Pay attention to unusual bleeding. Also, take hormonal treatments following expert medical opinion only.
7. Pay attention to your diet
Reduce the consumption of fatty foods. Processed meat, such as seasoned and tinned meat, dried or burnt meat, is unhealthy and should be avoided. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables.
8. Know the threat, detect it
Be attentive to unusual changes in the body. Perform self-examinations like checking the breasts periodically. Undergo screening tests after reaching the specified age.
(Courtesy: Arogyam magazine)