5 habits that can help you prevent cancer

5 habits that can help you prevent cancer. Photo: Pexels
5 habits that can help you prevent cancer. Photo: Pexels

It’s likely that you know someone who has or has had cancer. That’s because, according to the director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO), Elisabete Weiderpass, the disease affects 600,000 people every year in Brazil.

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And although there are effective treatments that can prevent death, adopting measures that can prevent cancer is always a good idea.
With information from “Eat This, Not That!”, learn about habits that can help you prevent different types of disease and promote a healthier lifestyle.

How to prevent cancer

1 – Take advantage of available health technologies

Early diagnosis can save your life,” declares general practitioner Bayo Curry-Wintchell.
She emphasizes that making use of early diagnosis technologies can reduce the risks of death from the disease.

“As for treatment, there are now more options available,” she continues. “It is more common to find medications targeted directly at cancer. In the past, treatment sometimes included medications that harmed non-cancerous cells.”

According to the expert, this is a game-changer in cancer treatment, since healthy cells help the body fight other infections, leading to fewer health complications during treatment.

2 – Know your family history and statistics

Routine check-ups and early detection are especially important for people who have a family history of cancer. Therefore, if someone in your family suffers or has suffered from the disease, inform your doctors.
In addition, “a disproportionate rate of certain types of cancer is observed in specific populations. It’s important to know your risks for the disease and why [they exist],” points out Bayo. She explains that this is often due to a lack of access to care, little knowledge in the health field, and distrust in the healthcare system.

3 – Avoid alcohol

According to the doctor, moderating or avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages can decrease the risks of cancer. This is because alcohol can affect hormones like estrogen, which is responsible for cell growth — according to the portal, the more growth, the greater the risk of “errors” occurring in a cell — and for the ability to absorb nutrients that prevent cancer. Moreover, the ethanol present in drinks can break down into a carcinogenic substance.

4 – Maintain a healthy diet

Bayo’s recommendation is to maintain a diet healthy, away from ultra-processed foods and/or those with large amounts of sugar and carbohydrates.

5 – Stop smoking

“Smoking introduces harmful chemicals into your lungs, damaging your cells (including those protective against cancer),” the expert reports.
According to her, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer.

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