Brad Elson

World Cancer Day - Cancer Prevention

The 4th February 2022 is World Cancer Day and to raise awareness, this blog will highlight four key cancer prevention recommendations from the World Cancer Research Fund’s latest expert report and from an independent panel of experts.

Be Physically Active

“Four key cancer prevention recommendations from the World Cancer Research Fund’s latest expert report.“

One of the cancer prevention recommendations is being physically active as part of your everyday life. This includes sitting less and walking more – as there is concrete evidence that physical activity prevents against cancers such as breast, colon and endometrium. In addition, physical exercise prevents excess weight gain, which can cause other health problems. As a result, it is recommended that you follow or exceed national guidelines on physical exercise and are at least moderately physically active by limiting sedentary habits – such as screen time.

Furthermore, those who work in sedentary jobs need to take extra care to ensure they are meeting The World Health Organisation advise for adults to be active daily, carry out seventy-five minutes of vigorous physical activity at a minimum or carry out one-hundred and fifty minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Moderate-intensity activities include:

Dancing

Gardening

Cycling

Swimming

Household chores

Vigorous-intensity activities include:

Aerobics

Fast cycling

Team sports

Fast swimming

Limit Fast Foods

Another cancer prevention recommendation is to limit processed foods high in starches, sugars and fats, as well as fast foods – to maintain a healthy weight and control calorie intake – and as a result, limit body fatness which is a cause of many cancers.

Obesity and overweight levels are at their peak across the globe, but increases are predominantly evident in middle-income countries where processed foods are readily available and physical activity levels are deteriorating.

As a result, to limit body fat gain which can cause cancer, you should limit consumption of processed foods high in starches, sugars and fat – including pre-prepared dishes, fast foods, desserts, snacks, bakery foods and confectionery goods.

Limit alcohol consumption

Also, another cancer prevention recommendation is to limit alcohol consumption as there is strong evidence that consumption can lead to cancers such as pharynx, larynx, mouth, liver, colorectum, oesophagus, stomach and breast.

Evidence conveys that alcoholic drinks of all types, including wines, beers, liqueurs as well as all other alcohol sources have an impact on cancer.

As a result, for cancer prevention it’s advised not to drink alcohol, and if you do, don’t exceed national guidelines.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is also one of World Cancer Research Fund’s recommendations to preventing cancer. This includes avoiding weight gain in adult life as greater body fatness causes many cancers.

In 2016, over three-hundred and thirty-eight million children and adolescents, as well as almost two billion adults were obese or overweight globally.

To maintain a healthy weight, ensure that you keep your weight as low as you can within the healthy range throughout life (BMI of 18.5 – 24.9) and try to avoid weight gain throughout adulthood by:

Eating a diet rich in vegetables, beans, wholegrains and fruit

Limiting sugar sweetened drinks

Limiting processed foods high in fat, sugars and starches

Limit fast foods

Be physically active

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