Cancer describes the disease resulting from the abnormal growth and proliferation of specific cells within the body, and it can affect any part of the body, although most cancers are typically found in the digestive system, lungs, liver, bones, and other organs. Anyone can develop cancer, especially if risk factors are present, including family history, lifestyle, weight, and age.
Reducing Cancer Risk
The prognosis for most cancers discovered in late stages isn’t good, especially if it has already spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, it’s crucial to live a healthy lifestyle to lower the risk of developing and dying from cancer. Here are four tips to help you reduce your risk of getting cancer:
1. Monitor Health
Early cancer detection is critical because screening it early can stop tumors from growing before they spread to other parts of the body. It’s essential to have frequent health monitoring and screening to lower the risk of getting late-stage cancers, especially in people who are considered high risk.
You can also have a scan of your whole body to check your overall health. To learn more about full-body scans, you can visit this page for additional resources.
Meanwhile, here are some ways you can screen and monitor your health:
Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can be done with the help of special machines, can also detect cancer at an earlier stage. These two methods have different ways of targeting cancer cells. The first uses sound waves of light and magnetic fields to excite cancer cells, while the second uses powerful magnetic forces to alter the atoms of the cells. Both of these methods can be used in a variety of cancer-detection tests.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan is another common test for early cancer detection. When this type of test is performed, a high-frequency sound wave is sent through the abdomen to produce images of the area. When this scan is used to detect tumors, doctors can determine the size, location, and quality of the tissue.
Cancer detection by mammography is the most commonly performed test for breast cancer. This method is used in both men and women, and it can be used to detect tumors small enough not to be seen on mammography. Also, it can detect cancer cells not visible to the naked eye. This is a great method to find out if any cysts are developing.
If you have a lump or found a tumor from your imaging results, you should immediately get a biopsy. During a biopsy, doctors take a sample of the growth to determine whether it’s benign or malignant. Although this process may take longer than having a mammogram or ultrasound done, it can be beneficial in deciding whether or not cancer has spread.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking can cause diseases and illnesses such as cancers, cardiovascular problems, lung problems, damage of blood vessels, and many more. One of the adverse effects of smoking cigarettes is it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Smokers suffer from respiratory problems as well. Chronic bronchitis can lead to complications such as emphysema and asthma. Also, severe obstruction of the airway can cause difficulty in breathing. Other adverse effects of smoking cigarettes include increased risks of tooth decay and mouth cancer.
3. Maintain A Healthy Weight
When people gain excessive weight, there’s insulin resistance in their bodies, which means the cells in the body can’t use the glucose or fatty acids present in the bloodstream for energy. When there’s a high level of resistance, there’s an increased risk for the cells to become overgrown, leading to cancer.
To lower the risk, you need to maintain healthy body weight, and you can achieve this through proper diet and regular exercise. There are lots of foods you should eat to help keep yourself healthy. But what does a healthy diet consist of? Here are some things you should remember:
- A balanced diet for adults essentially consists of a half plate of vegetables and fruits. The other half comprises mainly whole grains, fresh plant proteins (peas, lentils, beans, nuts), unsaturated fats, moderate amounts of dairy and unsaturated fats, and a few other starchy vegetables and fruits.
- Eating foods high in fat and sugar can help contribute to the growth of cancer cells in your body. Foods such as eggs, butter, cream, and fatty meats should be avoided as much as possible.
- Drinking plenty of water each day can help keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins from your body.
Your diet is only one part of the equation. Getting regular exercise is also critical to maintaining your weight, so you can shed off the extra fats stored in your body. Also, regular exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, which contributes to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle.
When your mind and body are stressed, your metabolism slows down, which means you eat more to keep up with all the energy demands. Physical activity stimulates brain activity and releases endorphins, which give you a feeling of euphoria during physical activity.
4. Reduce Stress
People often ask if stress and cancer are related, and the relationship between them is a complicated one. Stress doesn’t directly cause cancer, but prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and lower the quality of well-being, which may lead to cancer.
Other links between stress and cancer could arise in different ways. For example, when you’re under pressure, you tend to develop unhealthy behaviors like overeating, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake, and these behaviors are related to increased risk factors in growing cancers.
Stress can be caused and perpetuated by a wide range of circumstances—from routine tasks you encounter daily to the stress you face when interacting with other people, and one of the ways to reduce stress is to practice mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation refers to an ancient skill that allows a peaceful life and inspires inner happiness. Becoming mindful is about being present and observing without judging. To become conscious, you have to stay focused with your attention fully locked onto the moment.
There are many ways you can reduce the risk of developing cancer. If you have a family history of cancer, it’s essential to get imaging studies every year to detect if cancer cells are in your body. Early cancer detection increases your chances of surviving the disease. Also, taking care of your mind and body is critical.
It’d be best if you avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and overeating to ensure your body is working at its optimum and won’t damage your organs. Lastly, reducing stress through mindful meditation helps reduce the stress to prevent developing unhealthy behaviors.