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Cancer has been one of the biggest killers of the twenty-first century. Many reasons such as excessive use of chemicals in our day to day life, pollution, stress, hectic lifestyle, poor diet and much more has contributed to the increase in cancer cases lately. Cancer can be described mostly as out-of-control cell growth causing lumps and tumours except in the case of leukemia. These tumours and cancerous cells then move through the body and interfere in body functions by destroying healthy tissues. Cancers of colon, rectum, stomach and more affect both men and women equally whereas some cancers such as prostate cancer affect men and breast cancer affect women more. Cancer is just not life threating but the mental and financial cost for the patient suffering from cancer and his near and dear ones is also immense. There are many myths that are associated with cancer such as that the disease is contagious or intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners causes cancer. Usage of cell phones, deodorants, hair dye and proximity to power lines or cell towers are also often associated with cancer. But there is no conclusive evidence to establish these myths as facts. On the other hand there are some scientifically proved factors that do increase and decrease the risk of cancer.
Factors that Increase the Risk of Cancer
There are more than 100 types of cancer. Different factors may increase the risk of a particular type of cancer. Like tobacco usage will increase the risk of oral cancer many a folds. Although people in all age group may get affected by cancer but aging individuals are at a higher risk. Thus there are risk factors such as genetics, hereditary factors, aging, hormones and more over which an individual has little or no control. Many a times the advent of cancer may also be due to a variety of reasons and not just one. Another major factor that increases risk of cancer is exposure to chemicals. Frequent exposure to radiation and chemicals at work place for technicians, painters and other professionals may increase the risk of cancer. Chemicals such as asbestos, benzidine, benzene, cadmium, vinyl chloride and nickel are regarded as cancer-causing. Other factor that increases risk of cancer include exposure to UV rays, viruses and bacteria such as Hepatitis, Human papillomaviruses, HIV, Human herpesvirus and more. Poor diet and overall health, alcohol and inadequate physical activity or being overweight also increases risk of cancer.
How to Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
The most imperative way to cut down on the risk of cancer is through proper diet. Include plenty of fresh and organic fruits and vegetables in your diet that are free from chemicals. Avoid processed meat especially red meat, tobacco and alcohol and drink plenty of water. There are also food items that cut down the risk of cancer such as nuts, avocados, garlic, ginger, turmeric, tomatoes, green tea and extra-virgin olive oil, thus include them in your diet. Exercising regularly, staying physically active and maintaining proper weight will also help cut down risk of cancer. Also protect yourself against over-exposure to chemicals, radiation and sunlight. To cut the risk of cancer one will also have to protect against viral infections such as Hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV and more this can be done through immunization and responsible behaviour.