“At least one third of cancers are preventable giving us every reason to champion healthy choices and prevention strategies for all, so that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks”.
Choosing your health
Although not all cancers are preventable, the many that are, are linked to our lifestyle choices. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), at least one-third of common cancers are preventable through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.
Taking the huge step to quit smoking can reduce the risk of cancer greatly. The use of tobacco has been found to cause around 15 different types of cancers (lung, liver, stomach, bowel and Ovarian), as well as some types of leukaemia.
Reducing and limiting your alcohol intake can reduce your risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, bowel and breast, it could also reduce the risk of liver and bowel cancers.
Maintaining a healthy weight and making physical activity part of your everyday life can help reduce the risk of ten cancers (bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder).
No matter where you live or your skin tone, moderate exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and the avoidance of tanning beds and solariums can reduce your risk of skin cancer. Staying under the shade, covering up your skin and avoiding prolonged periods of exposure to the sun are some ways to help protect yourself.
Some people may have increased exposure to cancer-causing substances due to their work. E.g. Within the Chemical dye industry, people who work with asbestos etc.
If you have the option to be vaccinated go for it! Chronic infections are estimated to cause 16% of all cancers globally. Some of the most common forms of cancers such as liver, cervical and stomach cancers are associated with infections with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori virus (H, pylori), respectively. Today, there are safe and effective vaccines against HBV and HPV, which can help to protect against the infection-related cancers of liver and cervical cancers.
“As individuals we can take responsibility for our health, including getting vaccinated and reminding others to get vaccinated, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and excessive/prolonged sun exposure”.