Lifestyle and Cancer

Lifestyle and Cancer

Scientists have found we can cut our risk of cancer 70 percent by diet, exercise and non use of tobacco.

Scientists tell us a diet rich in fruits, fish and vegetables, avoiding red meat, exercising, and using no tobacco can prevent 70 percent of cancer. It is amazing that knowing these facts cancer still runs ramped. Doctors are finding out that lifestyle factors play an important role in cancer prevention. The main culprit seems to be our western diet, obesity and inactivity. A study done by the American Cancer Society in 2003 found that the heaviest people, in comparison to the leanest had an increased death rate . Uterine cancer in women had a six fold increase. Liver cancer in men increased fivefold.

Those who exercise one or more hours a day have a 30 percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who exercise less. Exercise protects against other cancer as well. Fat cells release inflammatory chemicals into the blood stream than can stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Regular exercise lowers the levels of these chemicals. The more overweight we are, the greater the chemicals that go into our blood stream. Regular moderate exercise lowers these levels.

Cancer is a disease of malfunctioning genes . About 10  percent of all cancers  occur in people who have inherited genes that make them vulnerable. All tumours begin with one renegade cell. The cell is one of about 30 trillion or so cells in the body. It looks no different than the cells around it. The renegade begins to multiply wildly. One cell becomes  two, two becomes four, and soon they multiply beyond counting. Most of us are born with good genes but some genes can become damaged. It is these cells that mutate and become cancerous. During our lifetime our cells will divide 100,000 trillion time, creating 100,000 trillion opportunities for a malfunctioning cell to turn mutant.

Most cancers occur when cells damage their genes accidentally.  Although our cells have the ability to repair themselves, the protection is not perfect. So mutations and mutant cells accumulate as we grow older. Studies of lifestyles and cancer have given us the tools, today to reduce our risk of cancer. With diet, exercise and non use of tobacco, scientists tell us we can cut our risk of cancer by 70  percent.

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