Washington, Apr 5 : Despite widely held beliefs that cancer is genetic and cannot be avoided, the American Cancer Society advocates that the following healthy regime can successfully prevent almost half of cancer deaths.
According to cancer prevention expert Anne McTiernan, ten lifestyle changes are required to improve their odds of preventing cancer or catching it in its earliest, most curable stages.
The recommendations include- one should not smoke or use any other tobacco products, as tobacco increases the risk for many cancers including those of the lung, bronchus, head and neck, colon, and bladder. In fact, one should not hesitate in asking any help from his physician, family and friends, employer, and even his insurance company.
The second recommendation says that one should get screened for cancer regularly as many tests can detect cancer at a very early stage, sometimes even before a growth has turned cancerous. This can greatly increase chance for a cure and reduce risk of dying from the disease. Currently available cancer screening includes Colon, Breast, Prostate, Cervix, Cervical-cancer and Skin.
McTiernan of the Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre also suggested that one should keep his alcohol consumption low, as it increases risk for several cancers including those of the breast, oesophagus, colon, pancreas, and head and neck.
The fourth recommendation is to protect your skin from the sun and for this you should use sunscreen every time you go outdoors (preferably one with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays).
One should keep a physically active lifestyle, for a research has suggested that exercising three to four hours per week at moderate or vigorous levels reduces the risk of several cancers by 30 percent to 50 percent.
It was suggested that one should keep his weight in the normal range for his height, i.e. keeping to a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less. People who are overweight or obese have increased risk of developing several cancers including those of the colon, breast, pancreas, liver, kidney and endometrium, and perhaps leukaemia and lymphoma. It's also proved that men who are obese are more prone to develop a deadly form of prostate cancer if they develop the disease.
For women, it was recommended that they should avoid taking menopausal hormone-replacement therapy as it increases risk for breast, endometrial and, possibly, ovarian cancer.
One should consider taking medications for reducing cancer risk, as number of medications have been tested and found effective for reducing risk for cancer.
Avoid exposures to cancer-causing substances as radiation exposures and some chemicals are known to cause cancer.
And lastly, one should eat a cancer-risk-reducing diet as research has indicated that a plant-based diet is associated with reduced risks for several cancers, especially for colon cancer. In fact, McTiernan also laid down general dietary guidelines for reducing cancer risk.