Cancer is often referred to as the ‘great equaliser’ – everyone is at risk, regardless of age, race and socio-economic status, and it can strike at any time poi xlsx. Thanks to continuous breakthroughs in cancer research and medical science however, there are many more cancer treatments and cures available, and survival rates are significantly higher than they were 30 years ago.
There have also been many studies into what causes cancer, and while researchers aren’t sure exactly what causes cells in the body to turn rogue and form tumours, they have determined that certain foods, drinks and lifestyle habits increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 things which can help decrease that risk.
1. Broccoli and other leafy dark green vegetables are powerful cancer fighters, packed with antioxidants. The way you prepare them however can change their potency. A recent study found that boiling or microwaving broccoli destroyed the key cancer-fighting enzyme; yet steaming it for 5 minutes retained the enzymes. Eating vegetables raw is perhaps the best option of all, since there is no risk of destroying any of the nutrients.
2. Quitting smoking. It’s well-documented that smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, but there’s another cancer strongly associated with smoking, and it affects mostly men: bladder cancer. Waste products or carcinogens from cigarettes make their way into the blood, are cleared by the kidneys, and then lurk in the bladder.
3. Booze. In our bodies, alcohol (ethanol) is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, which is responsible for the hangover you experience the next day. Acetaldehyde does more than give you a headache though, it’s also been linked to cancer, as it damages your DNA and prevents cells from repairing the damage.
4. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, another powerful cancer-fighter. The best form of lycopene comes from cooked tomatoes, as the process increases antioxidant activity and allows your body to absorb it easier. One thing to remember, because lycopene is fat-soluble, you need to eat it with a healthy fat such as olive oil or avocado, so it’s properly absorbed.
5. Processed meats. There’s a strong link between colon cancer and processed meats, which contain preservatives like nitrates. Studies have shown that eating as little as 1-3 slices of processed meat a day can increase your risk for multiple types of cancer. So, it goes without saying that it’s best to avoid products that contain sodium nitrate. If you’re unsure, always check the nutritional label on packaging.
Knowledge is power
Knowledge is one of the greatest weapons against cancer, so arm yourself by asking questions to your doctor, or ours right away if you like, via the Hello Doctor app.
Brought to you by Dis-Chem, pharmacists who care. Visit www.dischem.co.za to find out where your nearest Dis-Chem pharmacy is located.
Dis-Chem is a proud partner of Hello Doctor. Read more about Dis-Chem.