October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: In this article you will find 7 tips to prevent cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared in 2018 that there were 17 million new cancer cases and 9.5 million cancer deaths worldwide. With the increase in autoimmune diseases and the decreasing quality of life, researchers predict a dramatic rise in health problems and cancers. However, it is possible to reduce the risk of cancer by improving your lifestyle. Research has also shown that it's possible to prevent half of the cancer cases by using our knowledge about proper diets and the body's biochemical functioning.
So how to avoid cancer? Every day you make choices that affect your health. The question is how to make smarter choices to help your body stay healthy and prevent cancer. Choices about your diet, choices about physical activity. Follow our 7 steps to lower your risk of developing cancer. Tip number 6 will surprise you. And if you know someone who has had cancer in their family, share this article with them. It might help them a lot!
Did you know that smoking is the cause of about 90% of lung cancers? Here are the other cancers that smoking provokes:
- Lung cancer
- Colon Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Throat cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Oral cancer
- Esophageal cancer
In addition to these cancers, smoking causes vision problems and bone fractures.
Quitting smoking is also protecting your loved ones since tobacco damages the health of non-smokers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 chemical compounds that can also cause lung cancer and respiratory ailments in the people around us.
Smoking increases the number of nicotine receptors in your brain. When you stop smoking, these receptors still want nicotine, and when they don't get it, they start to adjust. This process of adjustment and upgrading the biochemistry of the brain causes cravings and relapses.
It takes at least three months for your brain chemistry to return to normal after you quit smoking.
Get help from a therapist if needed: Hypnotherapy is very efficient for some people. This technique will help you find the emotional or mental reason for your smoking.
And bonus: quitting cigarettes will lower your life insurance premiums!
Repeated exposure to the sun damages your skin, and can cause the most common form of cancer, skin cancer. The skin is the largest organ, and we often forget it. Still, it is fragile and sensitive to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
How to avoid skin cancer?
- Never use tanning equipment.
- Apply at least index 30 sunscreens, and if necessary, all year round.
- Avoid exposure to the sun between 11 am and 3 pm.
Beware of the sun's reflective effect: water, glass or even bitumen. Some materials, even opaque, still reflect the sun's rays!
- Wear long-sleeved clothing when the UV index in your area is above 3.
- Hydrate frequently and in the morning with water
- If you get sunburned, use aloe vera or another healing solution to help your skin. Aloe vera is said to have the superpower of inhibiting inflammatory reactions, according to a study from the Arak University of Medical Sciences published in 2013.
Food and oxygen are the raw materials that a cell needs to function. To reduce your risk of cancer, be careful about what you eat. According to multiple studies published in 2016, proper diet can help prevent cancer and even shrink tumors. Dr. Lewis Cantley Director of the Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine that published these studies declared: "As we learn more and more about cancer metabolism, we understand that individual cancers are addicted to particular things. In a lot of cancers, that's insulin—and sugar."
So, lower the sugar to starve any tumors potentially present in your body and prevent cancerous cells from forming. The cells will have no choice but to feed on fat and protein instead.
To support your body and prevent cancer risks, choose to eat fruits, fresh vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Limit processed foods like ready meals or certain transformed meats.
Here are four foods to eat right now on your weekly menu to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Pineapple: Researchers at the Queensland Medical Research Institute in Australia discovered in 2016 an anti-cancer agent in the molecules of the fruit. This anti agent is the bromelain molecule.
Broccoli: Researchers at Harvard University of Medicine identified a compound in 2019 that could prevent certain cancers and even serve as a treatment by blocking cancer cells' growth. You will find this compound in broccoli, brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, kale and cauliflower.
Garlic: Allicin is an ingredient in garlic that is released when the clove is chopped or crushed. Allicin has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect and anti-tumour effect for lung cancer, colon cancer and bowel cancer. The online journal Cancer Prevention Research published an article on this subject in 2015. You should eat 5g of garlic per day to prevent cancer, like alcohol, sugar, red meats, salt, and fat.
Aloe vera: researchers of all around the world study this plant for its many benefits. Aloe vera is famous for the fantastic effect on the skin. But it also inhibits inflammatory reactions, including the toxic impact of benzopyrene. This chemical comes from cigarette smoke and pollution. Benzopyrene causes tumors in the respiratory tract but also in the digestive tract.
But if you are careful with your diet, take the time to study the package leaflets for certain medications.
Antibiotics, photosensitizing drugs can have unpleasant surprises in store for you in case of abuse. Take the time to discuss this with your doctor.
Antibiotics hurt the intestinal flora: these drugs destroy the number and diversity of bacteria and reduce resistance to infections. A study published in 2017 by Gut, a specialist medical journal dependent on the British Medical Journal (BMJ), proved that people who consume antibiotics regularly between 20 and 60 developed lesions of the intestinal wall and polyps. These symptoms are the first signs of future cancer.
So to prevent the risk of cancer of your digestive system, take care of your microbiota.
Sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer is good, but sometimes the sun itself isn't the problem.
Some drugs have a molecule that reacts to UV rays. The medicine circulates in your blood under your skin throughout your body. The damages to skin cells can be the same as a sunburn: burning sensation, pain, the skin turns red and hot. And just like a sunburn, it can cause skin cancer.
Photosensitizing drugs can be:
- Anti-allergic drugs
- Anti-cancer drugs
- Medicines used in cardiology
- Drugs used in neuropsychiatry
- Medicines used in dermatology
So remember to talk to your doctor and read the instructions carefully.
In 2019 an international study proved that physical exercise is associated with a lower risk of developing cancer. Physical activity helps to:
- Regulate the production of certain hormones and growth factors such as insulin, leptin and adiponectin, which plays a role in tumor growth,
- Physical activity stimulates the immune system, your best ally in helping your body eliminate cancer cells,
- It enables intestinal transit and reduces the digestive system's time by carcinogenic agents that we ingest in our food.
Inactivity induces problems with blood circulation, poor oxygenation of the body, a risk of being overweight. So to prevent cancer risks, exercise to stimulate your body's natural defences. Physical exercise is understood as a practice causing a marked increase in energy expenditure and can be:
- Household chores
- Or any other sporting activity
This study recommends at least thirty minutes per day for proven effectiveness in reducing cancer risk. So grab your shopping basket, broom or sneakers now!
Some cancers reappear from generation to generation. "Ha, it's genetic" very often sounds like fate. As if there was nothing that could be changed. However, a scientific study published in 2011 showed that genes could adapt to protect the body from cancer.
Nutrition, first of all, can modify epigenetic mechanisms through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants found naturally in these foods are powerful cancer protection. If, on the contrary, you do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, your DNA suffers from a deterioration, which will increase with age.
Your mental health is the second damaging factor you can control. Stress shortens the telomeres, which are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. This length of telomeres determines the body's longevity and good health. When the telomere is too small, the cell dies and becomes pro-inflammatory, leading to cancer risk. However, stress and depression can help reduce the length of these telomeres.
Other activities can help you lower your risk of cancer. In 2017, a scientific study published in the Journal Frontiers in Immunology demonstrated that mind-body activities (Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, Qi Gong etc.) could suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation, metabolism and aging of cells.
Ivana Buric, one of the study's authors, explains: "These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our well-being."
Meditation, in particular, because it reduces stress and increases the production of hormones of well-being, helps maintain the telomeres' length.
So, choose a healthy lifestyle each day to help keep your genetics healthy and reduce your risk of cancer.
Your immune system is one of the primary defense mechanisms against cancer because it recognizes cancer cells and destroys them. However, it happens that some cells escape and spread, creating tumor growths.
And like any superhero, there are times when he or she has weaknesses and needs help. You can help your immune system by strengthening it with certain foods:
Your microbiota is intimately linked to your brain but also your immune system. 70% of immune cells are in the intestine. So take care of your diet to heal your immune system headquarters. From time to time, you can also take a course on probiotics. Here are the foods that will help you recreate your intestinal flora and strengthen your immune cells:
So, are you rethinking how you take care of yourself now? We believe that taking care of yourself is essential to maintaining your health, but we also believe that protecting your loved ones’ futures is vital.
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Malek Hosseini A, Ghaffarzadegan R, Alizadeh SA, Ghaffarzadegan R, Haji Agaei R, Ahmadlou M. Effect of aloe vera gel, compared to 1% silver sulfadiazine cream on second-degree burn wound healing. Universite d’Arak des Sciences médicales
Written by Diane Taes