These Everyday Activities Cause Cancer, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That
There are more than 100 types of cancer and depending on the National Cancer Institute, “In 2022, approximately 1.9 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States.” There is no single cause of cancer, but factors such as genetics, environment and health habits play a role. “Cancers are among the top three causes of death in the United States and one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Fortunately, many cancers can be detected earlier and many types can be prevented early by changing daily routines and lifestyle behaviors,” Dr Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., professor of public health at New Mexico State University tells us. Although cancer can affect anyone at any age, certain choices and behaviors increase risk. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
Dr. Khubchandani shares: “More than a tenth of American adults currently smoke and more than a billion people in the world are regular smokers. Smoking is linked to many health problems (e.g. heart disease), but most importantly to wide variety of cancer types (eg lung, stomach, kidney, liver, colon, cervix, etc.). Reducing the frequency and dose of smoking or quitting smoking together can have a major impact on reducing the risk of these cancers. Similarly, avoiding passive smoking or second-hand smoke can significantly reduce the risk of cancers. A constant debate also surrounds the health benefits of certain types and doses of alcohol consumption and how much is good for your health, but long-term and excessive alcohol consumption has also been linked to a variety of cancers (e.g. liver, breast, colon, mouth, etc.)”
Dr. Khubchandani says: “Ultraviolet or ionizing radiation are very common around people. This radiation damages our cells and our DNA, causing cells to multiply abnormally, which is the case with cancer. This radiation is found in sunlight, whether natural (eg, coming from the earth, increased radon exposure linked to lung cancer) or man-made (eg, medical diagnostic procedures such as CT scans linked to head and neck cancers). Tanning beds are another source of such damage to cells in the human body, especially in cases of skin cancers (similar to excessive sun exposure). People need to stay aware of these risks because they are fairly common exposures, preventable causes of cancer, but often missed opportunities for prevention. »
“Not all types of meat are dangerous or linked to cancer,” Dr. Khubchandani points out. “It depends on the type of meat, additives and how it is cooked. For example, some toxic chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that damage our cell multiplication mechanisms are produced when muscle meat is cooked at very high temperatures (for example, pan-frying or grilling directly over flames). Limit consumption of red and treated (including smoked meats) may add other health benefits far beyond the likely role in reducing the incidence of cancer (e.g. heart disease).”
People who don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are at higher risk for cancer. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends four to five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention states that only 1 in 10 adults get the right amount. Dr. Khubchandani says: “One wonders what to replace the meat with? Fruits and vegetables offer a very healthy alternative to various types of unhealthy meat-based diets (eg smoked and charred). Fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and various health problems. People with higher levels of consumption of fruits and vegetables can have a significantly lower risk of lunghead and neck, oralesophageal, stomach, and the risk of colorectal cancer. There are many recommendations for how many fruits and vegetables people should be consuming, but aim for five servings for a variety of health benefits including reduced risk of cancer or more the better. »
Dr. Khubchandani reminds us: “The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are well known. For many health conditions, the effects and benefits of exercise are often faster (eg, improved mood, quality of sleep, general physical condition, lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar, lower risk of heart disease, etc.). When it comes to cancers, it takes a sustained, long-term commitment to maintaining a healthy weight and using exercise as a daily medicine for life. A working group from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has shared a report (c. Body fat and cancer) where they concluded that higher body fat poses a risk for a wide variety of cancers (e.g., stomach, liver, kidney, colon, breast, thyroid, other reproductive or gastrointestinal organs, etc.). One should try to obtain the recommended levels of physical activity to ensure the reduction of externally visible and internal fat. visceral fat accumulation (for example, by burning calories and blood sugar) that will eventually help reduce the risk of cancer by controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, inflammation, and improving the body’s cellular and biochemical climate.”
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelancer for several publications. Read more