Lifestyle and Cancer risk reduction

 In Health Information
At least one in three cancers are preventable with the help of a low risk cancer lifestyle.
Here is some information to help reduce your cancer risk:
1. Healthy eating to reduce cancer risk.
When it comes to preventing cancer, natural foods are best! It is best to eat food prepared inside the home and avoid takeaway and packaged foods. Fruit and veggies are cancer fighters so make sure you get 5 serves of veggies and 2 serves of fruit every day. Only 5% of Australian achieve this! Fibre is great for preventing colon cancer so eating unprocessed cereals, grains and legumes is a healthy choice. We know that eating too much red meat can contribute towards cancer so try to eat only 3 times a week a piece of red meat about the size of the palm of your hand. Again closest to nature is best so fresh meat is better than processed meat. Excess salt intake which is usually in processed and takeaway foods can increase your cancer risk and also your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. It is best to eat foods in a natural state and not add salt to foods when cooking or before eating.
2. Prevent skin cancer by limiting sun exposure
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. This is because the UV radiation is really high here. Despite all of the messages about sun safety, 14% of adults, 24% teenagers and 8% of children end up sunburnt every summer weekend in Australia. If we can prevent this excessive sun exposure we can prevent most melanomas which is the most common form of skin cancer. So how much sun is good? For getting an adequate vitamin D level it is recommended to have 10 minutes of sun in the morning or in the afternoon most days. It is great to avoid the midday sun in summer when it is at its brightest. More than this leads to skin damage. Using sunbeds is definitely associated with skin cancer and it is not recommended. If you have to go out in the sun,  remember to slip slop slap and lookout for your kids too:
3. Quit Smoking
Avoid cigarette smoke if you want to avoid cancer – don’t smoke yourself, and avoid second hand smoke from others. Cigarettes increase your risk of most cancers, including lung, skin, bowel and breast cancer. Quitting smoking will help reduce your risk. There is no safe amount of smoking!  One half of smokers die of a smoking related illness. Quitting smoking before 40 years of age is best, but even quitting smoking before 60 years of age makes a big difference. If you stop smoking, your risk of getting cancer reduces by up to 90% and after 15 years of not smoking, you are almost down to the cancer risk of a person who never smoked. Even if you do unfortunately get cancer from smoking, quitting smoking increases your chance of survival and decreases your chance of getting a second smoking related cancer:
4. Reduce your alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of many cancers – including throat cancer, liver cancer, bowel and breast cancer. To reduce your chance of these cancers, men should have no more than 2 standard drinks per day, and women no more than one:
5. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight increases your risk of many cancers, including bowel, oesophagus, uterus, pancreas, kidney and breast cancer. With 60% of Australian adults over weight, that is a lot of preventable cancer!
So what should your weight be to minimize cancer risk? Get you GP to weigh and measure you, and inform you of your BMI. It should be 18.5 – 25kg/square meter to have the best cancer prevention effect. A healthy waist circumference for men is below 94cm, and for women below 80cm. Talk to your GP if you need to lose weight to lower your cancer risk:
Check out your cancer risk, and the lifestyle choices you can make now to reduce your risk at:
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