Recently, I found out that a good friend of mine has cancer, and she’s not even 30. There is no indefinite way to prevent cancer, but you can lower your chances of developing certain cancers by taking preventative steps. Lower your chances of developing cancer by getting vaccinated, eating healthy foods, and being physically active. After performing my own preliminary research and speaking with a few physicians from my hometown, I want to give the following disclaimer. Like anything else in life, these statements are not concrete. As more research is completed, some suspected correlations will likely be true, while others will be proven false. As of today, there has not been enough research done for these findings to be conclusive.
What is Cancer
Cancer is caused by changes to certain genes that alter the way our cells function resulting in uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.
Known Causes of Cancer
Ultraviolet sunlight is the cause of nonmelanoma skin cancers while Ionizing radiation, which includes radiation from x-rays, CT scans, can remove electrons from molecules stimulating changes on the cellular level. Radon gas, which is found in our homes, has been linked to lung cancer.
Whether smoking or chewing, tobaccos use is linked to the following cancers:
- Acute myelogenous leukemia
Particular bacteria and viruses can cause cancer:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk of cervix, penicillin, vaginal, anus, and oropharynx cancer.
- Hepatitis B and C increase the risk for liver cancer
- Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk for Burkitt Lymphoma.
- Helicobacter pylori increases the risk for gastric cancer.
Possible Causes of Cancer
The following subjects have not gone through full clinical studies to prove a correlation between the subject and cancer. However, there are mild to strong points that indicate a correlation.
I’ve talked a lot about inflammation and how it’s the root of all disease. The body responds to inflammation by activating the white blood cells to cause cells to divide and grow to repair the damaged area. In chronic inflammation, that process never ends and could lead to cancer.
Higher estrogen levels are associated with certain types of cancer, especially for women who have gone through menopausal hormone therapy. Diethylstilbestrol (DES), which is a form of estrogen, was prescribed to women in the 1940s to 70s to prevent birthing complications. Unfortunately, Breast cancer became prevalent in women treated with (DES). Their children, women specifically, have an increased risk for vaginal and cervix cancer.
Obese individuals may have an increased risk for colon, rectum, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and gallbladder cancer. Women also have an increased risk of breast cancer, which isn’t surprising given the relationship between adipose tissue and estrogen.
Reduce Your Chances of Getting Cancer
Certain viruses have been linked to cancer, but luckily, some of these viruses are preventable through vaccination. (HBV) hepatitis-b and (HCV) hepatitis-c vaccines are available and recommended for newborns and older kids. Older adults who are at risk, are advised to get vaccinated as well.
Keep Your Weight in Check
There are two ways to keep your weight in check and shocker; it’s eating healthy foods and staying physically active.
I want to take this chance to challenge everyone who struggles with making healthy food choices to start by filling half your plate with fresh vegetables. As Americans, we overly-depend on carbohydrates, especially high-glycemic ones like bread. Lastly, fill your plate with lean proteins. Lean more towards fish and chicken as red-meats are high in saturated fat. I prefer the meditteranean diet myself. Give it a try.
Staying physically active in a world where people value the 12-hour workday more than their health is difficult, but here are a few ways you can stay active in today’s backward world. First, talk to your supervisor. If your job is unwilling to be flexible with your time such as, extra time over lunch to work out, working from home, or working split-shifts, then it’s time to get another job. Times have changed, and good employers are more than willing to let proven employees dictate their hours. Second, schedule your workouts. Stop treating your health as a secondary option, and make it primary by scheduling it like you would any other important event. Lastly, find a community of health-minded people to make your workouts more fun. Staying active shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should feel energizing.
Lower your chances of developing cancer by getting vaccinated, eating healthy foods, and being physically active. Bad things happen to good people, but your body will take care of you when you take care of yourself.