Cancer can afflict anyone. Yet, when it comes to preparedness for cancer, most of us believe that we don’t need to. Why? Because we are all fit and healthy, miles away from cancer, and that is not without good reason either. Who could have guessed that Yuvraj Singh, a famous Indian cricketer, who was instrumental in leading the team to a world cup win, would soon be battling cancer? Luckily, he was diagnosed early and fought back to win the battle.
Did you know that in India, over 10 lakh new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year? That works out to 114 cases every minute. Unfortunately, due to late diagnosis, over 7 lakh people die of the disease each year. (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/in-india-10-lakh-new-cases-of-cancer-detected-every-y/articleshow/60728597.cms)
However, up to 50% of all cancer cases are preventable, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) (Source: http://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/en/). Making lifestyle changes can improve your health and put you at a lesser risk of developing cancer. Consider the following lifestyle changes you can make to keep cancer at bay:
5 Easy-To-Follow Lifestyle Tips for Cancer Prevention
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
It is true that even those who follow a healthy diet have been diagnosed with cancer, and avoiding certain foods does not guarantee immunity. However, you cannot underrate the role of healthy food in reducing cancer risks and even curing it. Several research reports have shown that nutrients influence the behavior of genes.
Animal products have been associated with increased occurrences of cancer (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144110/). You should avoid meat and dairy products and increase the intake of immunity-building foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
2. Be Physically Active
Did you know that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of cancer? The American Cancer Society has laid out guidelines (Source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/acs-recommendations.html) that recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts every week for adults. For children and teenagers, it recommends one hour of moderate to vigorous-intensity activity each day. You can reduce the risk of colon, rectum, breast, and other cancers, as well as other lifestyle diseases, by reducing screen-based entertainment and embracing an active lifestyle.
You can begin by walking short distances or taking the stairs more often. The aim is to gradually increase the amount of physical activity in your daily life. There are a lot of interesting solo and group workout options that can help you stay active.
3. Do Not Use Tobacco
Consumption of tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of cancer. It is responsible for almost ~22% of cancer deaths. The tobacco epidemic takes 7 million lives a year. Not only do you put yourself at risk by smoking, but also endanger the lives of those around you (Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/).
Jennifer Aniston, popularly known as Rachel from the TV show Friends, turned to yoga to get rid of her smoking habit. Several celebrities have used hypnosis and other creative methods to quit smoking for their health, family, and physique.
It is not as Herculean a task as you may think. For a week or two, start by avoiding cigarettes for at least 3 waking hours. Then slowly increase the number of hours in the consequent weeks.
Alternatively, you can choose to smoke after any one of these exercises: 30-40 pushups; 5-minute plank position; or walking 300-500 meters. This should help you drop your dependence on tobacco.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Exposure to Radiation
Skin cancer is also a common form of cancer and is caused by exposure to the sun’s radiation. It affects more than 1 million people a year. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, is considered carcinogenic and can cause skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma (Source: http://zeenews.india.com/health/world-cancer-day-countdown-most-common-types-of-cancer-and-prevention-tips-1973035).
Try to avoid prolonged and regular exposure to the midday sun. When venturing out during harsh summers, be generous with sunscreen application and cover exposed body parts.
Be wary of radiofrequency energy from cellphones. Although there is no conclusive evidence, scientists do suggest a link between cellphone radiations and cancer. Also, take care not to take unnecessary CT scans, since high doses of radiation can trigger cancer.
5. Keep Cancer-Causing Agents At Bay
As per WHO (Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/), approximately 25% of all cancer cases in low and middle-income countries were attributed to infectious agents such as human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C, helicobacter pylori, and Epstein-Barr virus. Getting timely immunization will help prevent these infectious diseases which may have translated into cancer.
Environmental pollution, pesticides sprayed on crops, some chemicals and acids used for cleaning, are carcinogenic. Opting for organic food items, natural fertilizers, and herbal cleaners are some ways to reduce the risk of cancer. These changes can help, not only to prevent but also to accelerate recovery from cancer.
'Prevention is better than cure', the old adage goes. Most cancer patients will tell you that it caught them off guard – physically as well as financially. You can make small and simple to follow lifestyle changes to reduce the chancing of having cancer. But Cancer can happen to anyone, even the healthiest of us, and thus it is advisable to buy a dedicated Cancer Insurance plan to, safeguard yourself financially ensuring there is no financial burden, in case of an unfortunate turn of events. A dedicated cancer plan is a must, in addition to a health insurance plan, because of the unique benefits it offers when diagnosed with a critical illness like Cancer. Max Life Insurance now offers a comprehensive cancer insurance plan which offers the following benefits:
1. all stages of cancer covered
2. smokers covered
3. 20% lump sum upfront on detection of early-stage cancer
4. provision for multiple claims for early-stage cancer
5. 100% cover amount payable even during late-stage detection
6. cover of up to Rs. 50 lakhs
7. future premiums waived
8. paperless transaction
9. 10% increase in covers up to 150% of the original amount for every claim-free year
Stay prepared, stay safe. Protect yourself and your family from cancer by taking the necessary precautions.
Max Life Cancer Insurance Plan (UIN- 104N093V03)- A Non-Linked Non-Participating Individual Pure Risk Health Insurance Plan. Benefits defined under the plan are payable only on the diagnosis of Cancer as specified. There is no maturity or surrender benefit available under the plan.