With modernization and westernization, India has definitely raised bars when it comes to “technology”. But the introduction to such hi-tech equipments has left the masses lethargic and dependent on them. The culture of fast food and leading a luxurious life is one of the prime causes that are giving rise to millions of cancer patients annually.
However, a recent study by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) states that 39 percent of 12 major cancers can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to support your immune system because the only thing standing between you and the successful cure of cancer is your immune system. The human body is a powerful self healing organism and only you can activate that through these changes.
There is no such thing as a single cause for any health problem including cancer. Cancer is a slow growing disease at first and all these factors contribute to it. The number of cancer patients in India is rising alarmingly, which has given rise to an urgent need to modify and indulge ourselves in healthy lifestyle behavior. Corporate culture, busy lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, no proper exercise regime are the factors that lead to “Unhealthy lifestyle”.
People are getting addicted to luxurious lifestyles and avoid physical work. There is hardly any space for exercise or walking in their daily schedules, but they have created a lot of space for liquor and tobacco. It seems Indians pay money to become a cancer patient themselves. In tobacco, there are 300 cancer chemicals and 4,000 harmful chemicals but people love to buy tobacco products to become victims of mouth or throat cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK report, tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cancer cases in men and 15.6% in women. The relationship between diet and health has been recognized throughout recorded history. Obesity and lack of physical activity are associated with increased risk at various cancer sites, including breast, colon and endometrial cancer.
Also, the incidence of oesophageal cancer (cancer of food pipe) is moderately high and is associated with certain diet and lifestyles. It is second most cancer among males and forth most cancer among females. It is increasingly appreciated that the chances of developing cancer are significantly affected by the choice of our lifestyle. There are several uncontrollable risk factors which account for the majority of cancers, but we can modify our lifestyle to reduce enhanced threat of cancer.
Healthy lifestyle behaviors for cancer risk reduction include a healthy diet, weight management, regular exercise, reduction in alcohol consumption and smoking cessation. There is a perception that cancer is not curable, but it is very much curable if it is diagnosed in early stages. But India lacks a good public healthcare system and the majority of cancer patients die because they get medical access only in an advanced stage.
Another factor that affects people the most is “Stress”. The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones, such as epinephrine and also produces oxidative products which ultimately leads to damage. These stress hormones increase blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels.
Stress that is chronic can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, and various other illnesses. Stress also leads to unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, smoking, or abusing drugs or alcohol, that may affect cancer risk.
A total of 14 lifestyle and environmental factors have been listed below, they contribute for developing breast, liver, lung and colon cancers.
- Four elements of diet (consumption of red and processed meat, lack of fruit and vegetables, fiber and excess of salt),
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical exercises
- Sedentary lifestyle (occupation)
- HPV infection
- Radiation (ionizing and solar)
- Use of hormones after menopause (such as in HRT)
- Lack of breastfeeding
Luxurious standard of living is not only associated with adults but also young children. The trend of indoor games and lack of physical activity has not left children also. They are also being hit by cancer.
Expert suggests some essential lifestyle changes to prevent cancer:
- Change your diet to consume only fresh produce instead of processed foods.
- Eat variety of colored fresh fruit and vegetables (for example apple, carrot and spinach) because of the cancer fighting properties they contain.
- Avoid cooking using high heat as with frying pan and barbeques, they produce cancerous chemicals.
- Avoid smoked and pickled foods, these also produce dangerous chemicals.
- Exercise everyday, it is vitally important as it strengthens the immune system.
- Have a positive outlook; negativity affects the body as it weakens the immune system.
- No drugs, recreational or medicinal, they are artificial substances.
- Put live house plants in your home, especially in the rooms you spend most of your time. They purify the air naturally.
- Don’t forget to rest and get an adequate amount of sleep every night. The body needs to recharge everyday. Do something you enjoy doing and do it everyday.
- Get some sun exposure or use a vitamin D supplement if that’s not possible. A little sunshine doesn’t cause cancer but helps cure it.
- Keep a diary, and record every test and result you get. Be proactive about your health.
- Breathe deeply for 2 or 3 minutes everyday. Inhaling and exhaling fully.
- Supplement with vitamin C, some therapists recommend up to 10 grams a day.
- Seek a physiological counselor if you have a stress related problem.
- Be happy, find entertainment that makes you laugh. Humor has a physiological effect and can stimulate the immune system.