Recently the World Health Organisation announced that cancer will overtake heart disease as the number killer of human beings. After series of research, it was discovered that around 80 percent of cancer is determined by our lifestyle choices.
No doubt, cancer can sometimes be hereditary which means that the genes play a role too but lifestyle is the major reason why people suffer cancer. And this lifestyle is basically about the things we consume or the type of things we do. Lung cancer kills more people than any other cancer a trend that is expected to continue until 2030, unless efforts for global tobacco control are greatly intensified. Some cancers are more common in developed countries, for example prostate, breast and colon. Liver, stomach and cervical cancer are more common in developing countries. A number of common risk factors have been linked to the development of cancer, which includes an unhealthy lifestyle (including tobacco and alcohol use, inadequate diet, physical inactivity), and exposure to occupational (e.g. asbestos) or environmental carcinogens, (e.g. indoor air pollution), radiation (e.g. ultraviolet and ionizing radiation), and some infections (such as hepatitis B or human papilloma virus infection). The beautiful thing is, most of these risk factors associated with the development of cancer can be avoided. And avoiding them will help reduce the incidence of cancer to a large extent. 1. The number one risk factor is being overweight, obese or physically inactive. Most of us do not know that this is responsible for most incidence of cancer. Let’s all start exercising today. Its not too late to start. 2. The next is tobacco use. It used to be “TOBACCO SMOKING IS DANGEROUS TO HEALTH ” now they warn you that “SMOKERS ARE LIABLE TO DIE YOUNG”. Please stop clogging up your lungs with useless and unhealthy compounds. 3. Excessive alcohol use or consumption is another reason why cancer is on the increase. Help yourself! Help your liver! 4. Eating over processed food, too much red meat, refined sugar, soft drinks etc also increase the chances of Cancer. There are many healthy foods we can stick to. 5. Another risk factor is sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) infection which puts women at great risk of cervical cancer. Let’s try our best to protect ourselves at all times. 6. Occupational carcinogens are also risk factors. If you have worked with chemicals such as asbestos, benzene, formaldehyde, etc without protection you have an increased risk of developing certain cancers. 7. Age is also a risk factor. The older you become, the more likely that you will develop a cancer. This is probably due to an accumulation of damage to cells over time. Also, the body’s defences and resistance against abnormal cells may become less good as you become older. For example, the ability to repair damaged cells, and the immune system which may destroy abnormal cells, may become less efficient with age. So, eventually one damaged cell may manage to survive and multiply out of control into a cancer. Most cancers develop in older people. Many people die daily from cancer and most times out of ignorance, we say the problem is “spiritual”. That someone from the village is responsible. Let’s do what we can to help ourselves. Exercise and eating good meals will go a long way. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables you have a reduced risk of developing certain cancers. The exact way in which they protect against cancer is not fully understood. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, and also contain chemicals called antioxidants. They may protect against damaging chemicals that get into the body. We should all eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Then for those who smoke and have this insatiable thirst for alcohol, try your best to quit. Those are very unhealthy habits.
Health is wealth. Be Enlightened! Be Inspired!! Be Motivated!!!