For most people, cancer is a scary word. Globally, one in eight deaths are still caused by this disease. This is more than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, according to the Center for Disease Control.
But there are also 33 million people who have been diagnosed and survived. This means that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence.
Nowadays, if you happen to get the diagnosis, there is usually a team of people from radiation oncologists to chemotherapy technicians. They will be on your side to help you fight it and become one of those many survivors.
With it still being such a life-threatening illness, it’s good to get to know this disease and all the ways you can prevent it, or at least help your body be as strong as possible to fight it.
Here are seven important things you should know about cancer:
When it comes to this disease, there are foods you should eat and foods you should avoid. This can contribute to helping or hindering the growth of cancer cells.
Food and drinks such as: berries, avocados, kale, garlic, turmeric, green tea, and dark chocolate can destroy damaged cells that can turn cancerous.
On the other hand, processed meats such as hot dogs, deli meat, and bacon contain something called nitrate. When digested it can become carcinogens that cause cancer. These are the same carcinogens that can be found in cigarettes. Some other foods to avoid are canned foods with BPA, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, soda, and microwave popcorn.
Sleep is essential for your body, especially when it comes to fighting and preventing cancer.
Studies have shown that those who get six hours of sleep or less a night increase their chances of getting colon cancer, according to thetruthaboutcancer.com.
Sleep is one of the best ways your body heals and recuperates. Never underestimate the power of getting as much sleep as your body needs per night.
Go to the Doctor
Scarily enough, a lot of different types of cancer have no obvious symptoms. This is also true for serious ones like lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer.
It is important to have your yearly, or if needed more than yearly, check up with your doctor. You will want this to get screened and to address any concerns.
Get your Vaccinations
Some infections can actually lead to certain cancers, but luckily there are vaccines that can help prevent that from happening.
Make sure to get your Hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccinations which will help guard you against cervical cancer.
Take a Walk
Although it may be simple, studies have shown that walking more and sitting less can actually be a way to prevent certain types of cancers.
According to Time.com, sedentary behavior can actually increase your chances of cancer up to 66%. In their study, 54% of those who watched more than average amount of TV increased their chances of colon cancer.
Getting in 30 minutes or more of exercise, even just walking, will decrease those chances.
Get Healthy Amounts of Sun
Getting Vitamin D from the sun is actually a really great way to prevent cancer. Vitamin D is what helps your cells to combat the diseased cancerous cells. The only way to properly absorb an adequate amount of Vitamin D is through sunlight.
According to The American Society of Clinical Oncology, the recommended amount is about 15 minutes per day, and even then it’s best to stay protected because even though sunlight is important, too much can be bad for you and your skin.
It’s important to be aware of the type of sunscreen you are putting on and how much you use because sunscreen can actually block Vitamin D from being absorbed. Since it is applied to your skin, some harmful chemicals can also be absorbed.
Skip the Dry Cleaner
As convenient as dry cleaning is, most dry cleaners still use a chemical that can lead to liver and kidney cancer from too much exposure and inhalation, according to Time.com.
Washing clothes at home or by hand is probably your best bet to avoid those chemicals and a simple way to cut out an avoidable risk of cancer.