April 13, 2024

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Self-care and reviews to reduce risks

Self-care and reviews to reduce risks

Doing moderate daily physical exercise, stopping alcohol and tobacco consumption, and following a healthy diet are the first line of defense against cancer. These habits would prevent between 30% and 50% of cases and reduce deaths.

“Don't smoke, make your home smoke-free, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, eat healthy…” and up to 12 tips in the European Cancer Act. They are all equally important, however, according to… Society for Preventive MedicineThe five mentioned are particularly so, as nearly a third of cancer deaths are due to the primary cause Behavioral and nutritional risk factorsTobacco and alcohol use, high body mass index, low intake of fruits and vegetables, and lack of physical activity.

Although we often ignore it, stopping cancer is partly in our hands. The World Health Organization estimates this Between 30% and 50% of cancer cases can be preventedIt is not a matter of holding our breath until preventive vaccine studies give the expected results. In fact, it only depends on us winning the battle against our minds and changing our daily habits.

The overall risk of suffering from this disease is based on the fact that “neither age nor genetics can be modified,” notes Aspy Prevention's medical director, Laura Lopez-Tapero. But, as the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (Seom) has emphasized, the role of various external factors is so important that the development of… Strategies to enhance its prevention It can help reduce infection and death numbers.

Along these lines, Laura Velasquez, Director of Oncology Care at global health technology company Atris, highlights active prevention, in the form of “active participation in screening campaigns and good medical follow-up”, as the key strategy for early detection. However, it is not limited to secondary prevention only. The need to reduce cancer incidence, and thus the role of primary prevention, is becoming increasingly clear.

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According to Lopez-Tapero, it is estimated that between 80% and 90% of cancer cases could be prevented through public health policies. Therefore, we must embrace a healthy lifestyle, “which requires the appropriate balance between nutrition, exercise, avoidance of risk factors, medical examinations, and cognitive and mental health care,” he says.

Beyond detection

Cancer prevention begins with self-care and screening based on personal risk. But there is more. Som explains that 30 minutes of physical exercise daily is essential. proved to be “Physical exercise can reduce the risk of breast, colon, bladder, endometrial, esophagus and stomach cancer by up to 30%.». However, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics, only 37.7% of the adult population engages in regular physical activity, which means there is a lot of scope to reduce the incidence of cancer.

Moreover, even once the disease is diagnosed, “there is multiple evidence of the benefits of exercise,” recalls Cesar Rodriguez, head of the CIOM Center and head of the Medical Oncology Service at Salamanca Clinical Hospital. However, he continues: “Few patients remain physically active after diagnosis due to hesitation, fear of adverse effects, difficulties in accessing physical activity practices and also lack of information on the part of health professionals.” In addition, Lopez-Tapero adds another benefit: moderate exercise improves pain thresholds by releasing hormones that are beneficial to the body.

Ensuring that cravings – food or harmful substances – are consumed only on time is essential in the face of cancer. Specialists point out this Bad habits, even in small amounts but persisting over time, can be as harmful as intense exposure For certain factors for a short period.

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Staying away from stress would also be a wise measure. “So far, some studies suggest that chronic stress can help cancer development by reducing defenses and favoring the growth and spread of metastases,” explains the Aspy specialist. Both cases are still being confirmed.

What is clear is that “if we do not prioritize prevention, both primary and secondary, health spending will not only decrease, but will increase,” says López Tapero. It will worsen the quality of life of the elderly.

“Anti-cancer” ingredients.

Avoiding excess weight is the basis of the “anti-cancer” diet. It involves limiting fats and foods known to increase risk, such as red and processed meat, as well as sugars.

But it goes further than that. In conditions such as colorectal cancer, it has been observed, says Laura Velasquez, “A The direct relationship between mortality rate and per capita consumption of calories, meat proteins, fats and dietary oils“.

On the other hand, a diet rich in vegetables, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber appears to have the opposite effect. Regarding fiber, Velasquez points out that many analyzes and studies link increasing its consumption to a lower incidence of this disease.

More specifically, there are some foods that are known to contain substances with anti-cancer properties. between them, “Vegetables containing carotenoids, polyphenols, or allium compounds”, he explains. Antioxidants such as selenium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E also protect against cell damage.

Regarding vitamins and micronutrients, Lopez-Tapero points out that more research is needed to determine the optimal duration and doses of nutritional supplements. In any case, High consumption of non-starchy fruits or vegetables protects against many types of gastrointestinal cancer.

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Thus, the shopping list that puts an end to cancer includes cabbage, onions, garlic, tomatoes, citrus fruits, red and green leafy vegetables, red fruits, mushrooms, oily fish, yoghurt, whole wheat bread and valuable olive oil.