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Lifelong Cancer Prevention

BY DR. GILIAN FLOWERS ND


Adopting a healthy lifestyle for our entire lives is the best cancer prevention strategy we can embrace. Cancer is becoming the number one cause of death among Africans. Is there anything we can do to prevent cancer from developing? While there is no guarantee against this seemingly indiscriminate illness, there are strategies to give us added insurance throughout each decade of our lives.


Dietary factors alone are responsible for as much as 9 percent of all cancers. Follow a few simple guidelines to reduce risk. – Curb your consumption of red, salted, and processed meats, as these increase cancer risk. Pile your plate with veggies and animal-free protein sources instead. – Skip the broiler, deep fryer, and barbecue: cooking animal protein at high temperatures creates mutagenic (cancer-causing) compounds. Try baking meat, poultry, and fish, or break out the slow cooker. – Steam rather than boil veggies to preserve their cancer-fighting properties.

Know thyself
People come in all shapes and sizes. Our anatomy is as individual as our face, with a wide range of variations falling within the “normal” range. Knowing your body and what is normal for you will help you to notice subtle changes if they happen. – Be self-aware when it comes to your body. Women should be aware of any changes to how their breasts normally look and feel, while men should regularly check their testicles and penis for abnormalities. – Have a regular Pap test(every one to three years depending on previous test results) to check for cervical cancer. A pelvic exam investigating ovarian, uterine, and vaginal health should also be done.


Strive for a healthy lifestyle

Smoking causes about one-fifth of all cancer cases worldwide, while consuming as few as two drinks per day significantly increases the risk of colorectal and other cancers. Binge drinking in particular increases breast cancer risk.

  • Use alcohol responsibly; engage in some social activities that don’t involve drinking. Talk to your healthcare practitioner if you need added support.. – Quit smoking today!

The 30s career and family

The thirties are a time of heightened activities as We balance the demands of new careers, new families, and often demanding social schedules

Family ties

As parents and other family members age and some reach the end of their lives, cancer awareness may hit very close to home Having children may lead us to new heights of concern about our future health and that of our kids. -Learn about your own cancer risk based on family patterns to your healthcare practitioner to find out if additional tests or early Screening are right for you. Breast-feed your children, If possible to reduce your risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. -Focus on the factors that you can change, continuing with healthy lifestyle choices

The 40s: Weight and stress management

As we reach our forties, waistlines tend to expand while our free time for relaxation and exercise seems to contract. Reversing this common trend Is a powerful step In cancer prevention.

Cancer and obesity

If you are overweight or obese-body Mass Index (BMI) over 24.9-you have an increased risk of cancers of

Obesity may also prompt the development of more aggressive types of cancer. Simply losing those extra pounds and maintaining a healthy BMI (18.5 to 24.9) can significantly reduce cancer risk.

Reduce saturated and trans fat intake, found in animal products, fried foods, and baked goods. These fats are associated with obesity and are independent risk factors for cancer. – Eat a high-fiber diet to assist in reaching your natural body weight. Fiber-rich diets may prevent colorectal cancer while improving survival in breast cancer. – Choose low-glycemic foods to encourage weight loss and reduce elevated blood insulin levels, a factor in the promotion of cancer growth.

Stay Active

A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for cancer development in the colon, breast, and endometrium. Exercise to reduce these risks, while decreasing stress and obesity at the same time. – Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise every week, completed in intervals of as little as 10 minutes at a time. – Exercise with a friend to keep you motivated, and try to include some outdoor activity.