Cancer incidence and mortality are increasing worldwide, with cancer being one of the top three leading causes of death worldwide. Head and neck cancer and breast cancer are the most common types of cancer in our country. Lifestyle and environmental factors cause around 80% of all cancers, the rest is caused by genetic factors. Also Read – Sattu: The Desi Superfood And Why You Need To Include It In Your Summer Diet
Dr. Nikhil Kalyani, Radiation Oncology Consultant, Jaslok Hospital and Research, Mumbai, shares his contributions on lifestyle factors that are the main causes of cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality. The most common factors are smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and diet (red meat, fried food). Economic development and demographic change have resulted in an increase in cancers related to lifestyle such as head and neck cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, etc. Read also – Horoscope, February 20, 2021: Virgo are looking for marriage, Aries to have a lazy day
Tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is the most common factor causing around 20% of all cancers worldwide, most commonly head, neck and lung cancer. Tobacco consumption alone can cause around 10 types of cancer. Obesity and high calorie diets can cause cancers such as breast, endometrial, and colon cancer. A sedentary lifestyle with less physical activity has a multiplier effect on cancer development with other factors. Also Read – Coffee Side Effects: Stop Consuming The Drink If You Are Having These Health Issues
The incidence of cancer in developed societies can be reduced by half through primary prevention and lifestyle changes, mainly lung and breast cancer.
The following lifestyle changes can act as primary prevention against cancer:
1. Quitting tobacco (smoke and smoke free)
2. Stop drinking alcohol
3. Healthy diet: Increase fruits and vegetables, reduce red meat and processed meat
4. Avoid obesity
5. Increase physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week)
Important lifestyle changes can make cancer a preventable disease. A healthy lifestyle is one way to live a cancer free life.