Cancer can be a scary thing to deal with, but you can do your part in preventing some types of it through positive lifestyle changes.
By improving your health, you reduce cancer progression and even prevent it from developing in the first place.
This article gives you an overview of how to lower the risk of cancer and what you can do to start transforming into a healthier way of living.
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a severe ailment that involves abnormal cell growth resulting in damage to tissues in the body. This illness has different types, depending on the organ affected.
Data shows that out of 100 000 Americans, about 439 cases are recorded, and 146 people died from it in 2019.
Despite decades of research, cancer does not have any cure up to this day. There are only available treatment options in reducing its symptoms and delaying the progression of the cancer cells.
How Does Cancer Develop?
The development of cancer starts when there are changes in the DNA. While the body naturally repairs DNA damage, the body begins to slow down in this process as you age, allowing genetic changes to develop cancerous cells.
The abnormal cell growth spreads to healthy tissues surrounding it, including the body’s organs, if not detected and treated early.
Types of Genes that Cause Cancer
Genetic changes can cause cancer, making them the perpetrators of the dreaded disease.
The three types of genes that cause cancer includes:
- Proto-oncogenes. When this type of gene becomes more active than its normal function, they develop into cancer-causing genes or oncogenes. They allow abnormal cell growth to thrive.
- Tumor suppressor. This type of gene is responsible for cell growth and control of their divisions. However, when there are alterations in the cells, the genes are uncontrollably divided, producing unhealthy and cancerous cells.
- DNA repair. This type of gene allows the fixing of DNA that is damaged. But if cell mutations occur, they can cause changes in the chromosomes and enables cancer cells to grow.
Tissue Changes that Are Not Cancer
Changes in tissues do not necessarily mean that they can turn into cancer. While these may not show as cancerous, doctors still monitor these conditions due to their potential cancer development.
An enlargement of tissue happens when they multiply faster, leading to cell buildup. This commonly occurs in people who have chronic irritation.
Dysplasia is a more severe change in tissue condition with excessive cell buildup. When investigated under a microscope, these cells look normal. However, significant cell buildup has an increased potential to form cancerous. Dysplasia may show in the form of abnormal moles or melanoma.
Carcinoma in situ
Carcinoma in situ is often described as Stage 0 cancer. However, this is not considered natural cancer, even with abnormal cell growth, as they do not destroy nearby tissues.
Carcinomas need to be treated early to avoid cancer development.
Types of Cancer
Cancer comes in over 100 forms. Specific types of cancer destroy body organs such as kidneys, breast, liver, brain, and skin. Other types of cancer, meanwhile, are derived from the names of abnormal cell growth.
Here are the most common types of cancer:
Carcinomas are one of the most typical cancer forms developed by epithelial cells. These cells are found on the surfaces of the body,
Sarcoma is cancer that develops and destroys connective tissues and soft tissues. It can affect the health of the bones, muscles, and cartilage.
Leukemia is a type of cancer in the blood that occurs primarily among adults. It develops when changes in your blood cells’ health, which can go slowly and undetected.
A type of cancer that forms in the lymphatic system, lymphoma involves an abnormal change in white blood cells.
Multiple myeloma, most commonly known as myeloma, is a form of bone marrow cancer that may affect specific parts of the boy, including the spine, pelvis, skull, and ribs.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer involving changes in melanocytes or the cells responsible for melanin production. This type of cancer may also form in the eyes, throat, and nose.
Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors
Brain tumors and abnormal tissue growth in the spinal cord can cause cancer and affect the central nervous system.
Consult with your doctor about the possibility of having cancer and receive the best treatment option.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk for Cancer
Many forms of cancer, such as liver, skin, kidney, and breast, can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices.
Stop cigarette smoking
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. It also affects all types of cancer and is the culprit for 30 percent of all cancer deaths in America.
Achieve the right weight for you
Excessive fat buildup increases the risk of high blood pressure and releases abnormal cells that may trigger cancer. By keeping your weight in check, you reduce the potential risk of developing the disease.
Maintain an active lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle can cause obesity and overweight. You are also veering away from cancer when you engage in physical activities. Movement can reduce the risk of prostate, endometrium, colon, and breast cancer.
In addition, an active lifestyle releases happy hormones that leave a great impact on your well-being.
Each week, aim to move at least 75 minutes of physical activity. You may also conduct 30-minute physical activities at home or while in between your work shift through simple exercises such as stretching.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Eating food derived from plants is one of the ways how to lower the risk of cancer. Various fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, a compound that prevents cell damage. Phytochemicals also bring down potential cancer by fighting off abnormal cells in the body. You can also incorporate whole grains into your diet.
You should also avoid consuming foods that are high in fat, especially processed foods including fast-food products.
Get a healthy amount of sun exposure
A daily dose of healthy sun rays helps ward off abnormal cell growth that can cause skin cancer. Staying outdoors early in the morning or late in the afternoon for a quick walk can bring benefits to your skin.
However, ensure that you are shaded from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM when the sun emits harmful rays to the skin. You must apply sunscreen with SPF 30 and more to keep your skin protected all the time.
The best prevention of cancer is to get protection against certain types where a vaccine is available. You get a vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, and a vaccine against hepatitis B that protects you from liver cancer.
Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to one’s health. It can cause liver damage that may lead to cancer. Alcohol drinking also places you at risk of oral, colorectal, and throat cancer. Experts recommended that men can drink up to two glasses of alcoholic beverages daily while women may drink one glass daily.
Avoid risky behaviors
Viruses and infections like hepatitis, HIV, and HPV obtained through risky behaviors may cause different cancers. Practice safe sex and get vaccinated as soon as your age allows.
Get regular cancer screenings
Early cancer screening plays a vital role in the early treatment of the disease. It is best to get regular screenings for early detection if you belong to a high-risk population or have a family history of cancer.
Emergency facility for your medical need
Caring for your health means caring for your future. If you are at risk of cancer or have any suspicious symptoms that may lead to this ailment, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical help.
Additionally, if you want to defeat cancer, you should get early screening for the detection of any malignant tumor in your body. This allows early treatment of cancer and less stress that the disease may bring into your life.
Kingwood ER offers treatment options for any symptoms of diseases that may progress into cancer. Furthermore, we have an on-site diagnostic and laboratory facility which can confirm if you have an underlying condition that needs further medical attention.
Our emergency doctors and nurses at Kingwood ER are ready to give you the best care and treatment soon.
Stay on top of your health and make healthy choices today. Call us to learn more about our services.