Cancer Prevention Guidelines
The Cancer Prevention Research Trust offers you some guidelines towards living a healthier lifestyle and reducing your risk of cancer.
Cancer prevention is a multifaceted approach encompassing lifestyle choices and proactive health measures. Below are cancer prevention guidelines we can all follow to limit our risk and lead healthier lives.
- Do not smoke and avoid exposure to passive smoke.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Numerous studies have shown that obesity increases the risk of some cancers. The predominant cancers associated with obesity include breast, prostate, endometrium, bowel, gallbladder, pancreas and kidney cancers.
- Avoid rigid diets or rigid lifestyles. Variation in a person’s daily habits is recommended. Limit red meat consumption, instead have more fish, chicken and turkey.
- Get at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise every day such as walking. The more you do the better.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure. However, some is necessary for vitamin D formation which helps prevent a number of cancers.
- Limit alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day. Cancers associated with excess alcohol consumption include those of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver and breast.
- When choosing between eating a vegetable or fruit raw or cooked, eat it raw. If possible do not heat and re-heat food.
- Avoid consuming very hot drinks or very hot food as this has been linked with cancer of the oesophagus.
- Limit consumption of nitrite/nitrate treated food like ham, bacon and sausages. For bottled water, check the label for nitrite/nitrate content-the lower the better. If possible, use glass bottled water rather than plastic bottled water.
- Avoid iron tablets and food with added iron. Low blood iron helps protect from cancer as well as from bacterial infections.
- Avoid exposure to bleach/chloride fumes.
- Limit frequent use of hair dyes, they have been linked with bladder cancer as well as Hodgkin lymphoma.
- If pregnant, and up to a year before conception, avoid exposure to paint, paint thinners and lacquers, they have been associated with acute lymphocytic leukaemia.
- A low carbohydrate diet may stop the progression of prostate cancer.
- Underarm antiperspirants have been linked with breast cancer. There are aluminium free deodorant products available.
- Avoid taking mega-doses of vitamins or minerals.
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