The term ‘cancer’ describes a group of diseases that cause abnormally growing cells which have the chance to spread throughout the body and infect what was perfectly healthy tissue.
It is important to note that all abnormal growths of cells are known as tumors; however, not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors are essentially harmless as they do not spread throughout the body.
Cancer can occur throughout any system of the body, from the skin to the most vital organs that we have, and some cancers spread through the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
In total, there are around 200 different types of disease that are considered cancer. Evidence suggests around half of men and one-third of women can expect to develop the disorder at some point. Thankfully survival rates are improving due to new therapies like rife treatment as well as pioneering research into the disease.
However, while the recovery stats are encouraging, there are also small lifestyle changes we can all make that can dramatically reduce our chances of developing cancer-related problems.
Smoking is known to be a direct cause of many cancers including lung, throat, mouth, bladder, larynx, kidney and cervical cancer. Even breathing second-hand smoke has its dangers and considerably increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Equally, chewing tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth or pancreas and should also be avoided.
The significance of diet
Most people are aware of the importance of a healthy diet to keep their bodies in the best condition, but eating certain foods can also feed your body the nutrients it needs to help you fight the chances of cancer developing.
Eat more fruit and vegetables: Aim for a healthy daily intake of plant-based foods like fruit, veg, grains and beans.
Avoid drinking to excess: Alcohol is known to cause cancer of the colon, lung, live, kidney and breast. The chances of developing problems increase with the amount of alcohol consumed or how regularly you drink.
Control your calorie intake: Avoid eating too many high-calorie snacks and opt for lighter foods with fewer sugars.
Eat a more Mediterranean style diet: Try eating fish instead of red meat and choose oils instead of butter. Also mix up mealtimes with plenty of fruit, veg, nuts, legumes and grains. Mediterranean diets are known to promote better health.
Avoid processed meats: Eating heavily processed meats increases the risks of developing cancer by as much as 12%.
Take adequate protection from the sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancer complaints – yet is also one of the most easily prevented by following simple precautionary steps.
Avoid the strongest sun: Try to stay in the shade or covered up when the sun’s rays are most potent – usually between 10 am and 4 pm.
Always wear sunscreen: Cover exposed parts of your body with a cream or spray – even on cloudy days. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating 30 or above should be used.
Avoid tanning beds: Sunbeds and lamps are as dangerous as natural sunlight and should be avoided.
Take regular exercise and watch your weight
Being regularly active and taking exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy body weight which, in turn, dramatically reduces the risk of breast, lung, kidney, prostate and colon cancer. Experts suggest taking 150 minutes of mild exercise or 75 minutes vigorous activity per week is enough to improve your physical condition and lower the risks of cancer.