Of all the things that people say to cancer patients, one phrase stands out: “You brought this on yourself.” In other words, if you get cancer, it’s because you were a bad parent or didn’t get enough exercise or ate too much meat or smoked or had a working career. how to reduce cancer risk – Some people will go further and blame cancer on genetics, as though it can be genetically passed down from parent to child.
The fact is that about 40 percent of cancers are totally preventable — which means that 60 percent of cancers are the fault of lifestyle choices we make after we are born. The good thing is that at least half of all cancers can be shut out by just changing your habit in your day-to-day lifestyle.
There are definitely ways to prevent or avoid cancer, but they’re not necessarily that easy to follow. The best advice we can give you is to avoid bad habits and embrace good ones. Have a look at the list of bad lifestyle habits which can keep you out of the bracket of cancer victims.
Health Risks Of Smoking Tobacco and how to reduce cancer risk
Habit Of Smoking And Tobacco Chewing
Smoking and tobacco chewing are considered as the most hazardous habits for those who engage in them. Both lead to the development of different types of cancer that can prove to be life threatening.
What exactly is smoking? Smoking is a common practice among people of all ages and genders. It involves inhaling and exhaling the smoke from a burning substance like tobacco, which causes several hazards to the human body.
Smoking is generally done through smoking a cigarette, cigar or pipe. Smoking can also involve marijuana or other forms of tobacco products. As an alternative, it may also occur by inhaling vapours produced by substances like glue or paint fumes.
Smoking cigarettes is considered as the most common form of smoking. In this method, small tubes called cigarettes are used which are made using tobacco leaves rolled in paper. When ignited, the tobacco leaves in the cigarette burn producing thick white smoke that is later inhaled and exhaled by the smoker.
Tobacco chewing involves chewing a particular type of plant that has been prepared into sliced form. Tobacco chewing is widely practised in countries like India and Pakistan where it is an integral part of social activities that usually take place among friends and relatives. Tobacco chewing
What type of cancer do you think is the most common among smokers?
However, this bad lifestyle habit is responsible for introducing lung cancer that results in innumerable deaths every year all over the world. Apart from smoking tobacco-based cigarettes, chewing tobacco can also cause cancer of different body parts.
Some of the common forms of cancer diagnosed among regular smokers and tobacco consumers include cancers of kidney, esophagus, larynx, stomach, pancreas and oral cavity.
Habit of Alcohol Consumption
In the US, there are around 17 million alcohol addicts who are addicted to alcohol. Alcohol consumption can cause more harm than benefits. In addition to cancer, this habit also causes liver damage, strokes and ulcers.
Alcohol consumption is considered to be an addictive habit where people develop tolerance levels to alcohol if they consume it regularly and increase its consumption as time passes. The BAC level in their body increases gradually due to which they feel relaxed and comfortable while consuming alcohol.
Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to cancers of bowel, pharynx and oral cavity. In addition, alcohol addicts are also at high risk of getting introduced to the cancers of liver, breast and esophagus. The chances of colon and rectal cancers caused by alcohol consumption should not be overlooked.
It is also worth mentioning that the combination of smoking and alcoholism can further add to the cancer risks. Alcoholism is a social lifestyle habit that causes more harm than benefits.
It has been found that people who consume alcohol in high amounts face an increased risk of breast cancer by 70%. Moreover, women who drink alcohol before the age of 30 increase their chances of getting breast cancer to 90%.
Oral cavity cancer (tongue cancer): Alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer by five times in men and 2.5 times in women. This type of cancer is mostly found at the back of the tongue or on the side of the mouth.
Whole-body Cancer: People who consume alcohol regularly have a greater risk of getting it all across the body, such as esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and breast cancer. Your skin will look pale and dark patches may appear on your face if you drink too much beer or liquor regularly over many years.
Regular consumption of alcohol can destroy your liver completely. This is known as alcoholic liver disease. A person who drinks heavily will feel fatigued all the time because it can affect their sleep cycles as well as appetite levels.
Esophagus Cancer: People who drink regularly are at a high risk of developing it because alcohol irritates the lining of the esophagus and damages it over time.
Stomach Cancer: It is another kind of cancer that comes with heavy drinking. Cancer of the stomach is generally called gastric cancer and gastric adenocarcinoma is the most commonly found stomach cancer. It occurs due to cells that line the surface of the stomach. Men who consumed heavy drinks per day are 65% more likely to develop stomach cancer than men who were very light drinkers.
There are other types of health risks associated with drinking excess alcohol regularly. These include heart problems, brain damage and liver cirrhosis. Alcoholism can be very dangerous for health as well as social life.
Tobacco And Alcohol Components Negatively Affect The Immune System
The immune system consists of many organs and cells that work together to protect the body from infections and disease. When the immune system is weakened or impaired, it is less able to defend the body against harmful agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
These agents can cause illness by attacking the body directly or by producing toxins that damage tissue. The substances found in tobacco smoke and alcohol are among those that may weaken or impair the immune system.
Tobacco smoke contains many substances that have been shown to suppress or depress an immune response when exposed to cigarette smoke for even a short time such as: Lipid peroxides, Carbon monoxide etc.
Alcohol consumption is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world. In the US alone, it’s estimated that about 200,000 deaths occur each year as a result of alcohol abuse.
However, it is clear that drinking in excess will lead to a higher number of problems than benefits. Therefore, you should know how your body reacts during an alcohol binge and what effects the substance has on your body after its consumption.
Excess Consumption of Different Meat Varieties
Meat is a rich source of protein and iron, but excessive consumption of different meat varieties can cause cancer.
Red meat: Red meat contains a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. It has also been linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer (the third most common cancer in the world) according to World Cancer Research Fund International. Some studies have found that red and processed meats may increase the risk of cancers of the stomach and esophagus by about 30%, as per National Cancer Institute’s cancer Factsheet. These meats are also sources of carcinogens like heterocyclic aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and nitrosamines. These carcinogens form when meat is charred during cooking or processed with preservatives.
Processed meat: It’s a type of meat which is preserved by processes like smoking, curing or salting, adding of preservatives etc. Some examples include sausages, bacon, pastrami, salami, hot dogs, pepperoni etc. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International study processed meats are associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer. It has been observed that 50g/day serving size of processed meats is directly linked to bowel cancer incidence by 21%.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) conducted a study that revealed the connection between different meats and cancer. The WCRF explained that the main reason behind this is the substances called heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, both of which are carcinogens.
These substances are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures, for long periods of time, or when it is charred. The WCRF’s report added that these substances are present in pork, beef, lamb, fish, and poultry.
Red meat contains a substance called Neu5Gc. This substance is found in your blood already, but you can also consume it from red meat. However, Neu5Gc is broken down by the enzyme N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2).
If you have an inactive NAT2 gene, then your body won’t be able to break down Neu5Gc and will produce antibodies against it. These antibodies will trigger inflammation in your body as they try to fight off this foreign object that’s invading your system.
The inflammation produced by the Neu5Gc antibodies can eventually lead to cancerous tumors. Studies have shown that people with colon cancer have higher amounts of antibodies against Neu5G.