01 Feb Cancer Prevention Month: Avoiding the Big C
February is Cancer Awareness Month, and in this week’s PHMP Knowledgebase Article, we’re talking about the numerous proactive, preventative measures you can take to avoid cancer.
Preventable Causes of Cancer
According to the American Association of Cancer Research, smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer. Each year, 480,000 lives are lost due to smoking—and that’s not limited to just lung cancer. 1 2
Other cancers associated with smoking include:
- Ureter (the duct that transports urine from kidney to bladder)
- Nasal cavity
- Nasopharynx (upper part of throat, behind the nose)
- Oral cavity (mouth, gums, etc.)
- Oropharynx (middle of throat, behind the mouth)
- Hypopharynx (bottom of throat)
- Larynx (the voice box)
- Esophagus (duct that carries food from mouth to stomach)
- Pancreas (vital to converting food into fuel)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (bone marrow cancer) 3
Excess body weight
Your diet and exercise routines (or lack thereof) play large roles in your risk for cancer.
According to studies, roughly 20 percent of new cancer cases, and 16 percent of all cancer deaths are related to excess weight, bad diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption. 4
Due to the nature of food—and the fact that most people don’t eat one meal of the same exact ingredients 3x day 7 days a week—diet is difficult to precisely pin to cancer. 5
However, one thing’s for certain: there are types of foods that simply aren’t healthy no matter what, and have clearer ties to the risk of getting cancer.
- Fast foods: over-processed junk food, high in fat, starch, sugars, and preservatives, all contribute to a unhealthy diet and weight gain—both of which vastly increase your risk of cancer.
- Sugary drinks: like fast foods, sodas and their brethren are loaded with nasty chemicals that aren’t doin’ you any good, no matter how you spin it.
- Red and processed meats: these foods are tied to the increased risk of colorectal cancers.
- Alcohol: limit your intake of booze, because alcohol is tied to six different types of cancer: colorectal, female breast cancer, head and neck cancers, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, and stomach cancer.
If your body is healthy and fit, it is infinitesimally more capable of fighting against disease and illness.
Physical fitness results in drastically reduced cancer risks as well. 6
Percentage of risk reduction
|Breast cancer||12 to 21%|
We hope these links and bite-sized data-points gave you a better understanding of how many types of cancer are avoidable and, in some cases, how simple it may be to avoid them.
There will be more content related to National Cancer Awareness Month coming soon—stay tuned!