The risk of getting cancer is on the rise 3% every single year. 1 in 2 people in the UK will now be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. However, 38% of Cancer cases are preventable. World Cancer Day has us thinking, what can we do to prevent Cancer?
Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking is the largest cause of cancer in the UK however, it is also the most preventable.
Tobacco and smoking causes almost half of the deaths of 12 different cancer types. A single cigarette contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.
Smoking has been proven a difficult habit to break once established although, once that habit is broken, your health will drastically improve. You are likely to have more energy, improved fertility, easier breathing and of course, a lower cancer risk.
Some ways to help you quit smoking are to use nicotine patches, make a plan to quit smoking with a set date or you can also call the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer.
It's important that we protect our skin from harmful UV rays by avoiding sun exposure from 10am-4pm, not using sun beds and always wearing a high SPF sunscreen.
Sun protection is extremely important and should not be forgotten. However, sunlight is our best option for naturally obtaining Vitamin D. This vital nutrient is best obtained through direct, unprotected sun exposure, which results in a difficult situation of what is best for us as a lack of Vitamin D can have huge health implications.
Vitamin D can also be sourced through diet in foods such as fish and mushrooms but, getting your full RDA this way is proven difficult. The government recommends that, in particular through October to March, we supplement our Vitamin D intake. This means we can reach our daily dose whilst protecting our skin.
Vaccinations are now available to prevent certain types of cancers and they are life savers (literally).
Vaccinations for HPV are now recommended for girls and boys aged 11-14. 83.8% of young females completed the two-dose HPV vaccination course in 2017/18. Although this is a vaccination for a sexually transmitted virus, this vaccine protects us from this virus that can lead to cervical and genital cancers. The Hepatitis B vaccine is also recommended as Hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer.
Having a healthy lifestyle is extremely important in prevention of cancer. People who eat a balanced diet and are active, on average, have lower cancer rates.
New research shows exercising just twice a week reduces your chance of dying from cardiovascular disease by 41% and cancer by 18%.
Exercise doesn’t have to be just going to gym, it can be a walk through the park, getting lots of chores done around the house or going for a swim. As long as you’re moving and active, you’re on track for a healthier lifestyle!
Obesity is linked to many types of cancer and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight is often stressed by doctors. Nearly 30% of the world is overweight or obese but, It’s never too late to change to a healthier lifestyle. Simple food swaps such as swapping a sugar filled chocolate bar for some natural sweet fruit can make a huge difference. Remember, dieting is not effective; a lifestyle change is needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Make sure to try stick to your recommended calorie intake. Men should be having around 2500 calories a day to maintain his weight. Whereas women, should be having around 2000 calories.
Cancer is a scary thing that unfortunately still affects most people, whether it be yourself or someone you are close to. Taking care of yourself is something that we can often forget to do in during our hectic, day to day life.
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