Lifestyle plays an important role in the development of cancer. If you adjust your lifestyle in some aspects, you can to some extent reduce the Preventing cancer. As a specialist in oncology Basel I explain how to.
To prevent cancer, refrain from using tobacco (i.e. not even chewing tobacco or snuff).
Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture containing more than 4.000 different chemicals. Many of these have been shown to cause cancer, such as polyaromatic and heterocyclic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, and radioactive elements.
Passive smokers are also at risk. So stay as rarely as possible in the vicinity of people who smoke.
Limit alcohol consumption
Those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have been shown to promote the development of cancer in the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract, as well as cirrhosis of the liver – which can also result in liver cancer. Therefore, if you want to prevent cancer, ideally you should limit your alcohol consumption.
Avoid high-calorie, sugary drinks, such as z.B. synthetic "energy drinks" and artificial sodas. Keep consumption of processed and cured meats low, as well as high-calorie and high-salt foods.
Trace elements and antioxidants have a particularly cell-protective effect and can thus prevent the development of cancer. These include the following nutrients:
- Selenium (z.B. in fish, nuts or asparagus)
- Lycopene (z.B. in tomatoes, apricots and pumpkins)
- Beta carotene (z.B. in carrots or broccoli)
- Polyphenols (z.B. in coffee or in blueberries)
Also have an antioxidant effect: avocado, kale, onions, corn and potatoes. To absorb all the important nutrients, your diet should be balanced and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Physical exercise supports so-called tumor suppressor genes. These can prevent cancer by suppressing the growth of cancer cells.
Regularity makes the difference. Exercise three-four times a week for 30 minutes each time is better than exercising more intensively only once a week. Endurance sports that involve a high level of energy consumption, such as exercise, can be particularly effective in preventing cancer.B. Swimming, cycling, dancing, hiking or jogging.
But it is not only about sports. In general, perform as few activities as possible while sitting in everyday life. If possible, drive z.B. Ride a bicycle to work instead of taking the car or train. Or use the stairs more often instead of the elevator. Regular walks are also recommended. This will increase your basal metabolic rate and thus improve your daily calorie consumption.
Avoid UV rays
Tanned skin often looks healthy and vital. But appearances are deceptive. If the skin absorbs an excessive amount of sun and UV radiation, this can promote the development of skin cancer. Therefore, heed the following tips for dealing with the sun to prevent cancer:
- All uncovered areas of the body, such as z.B. The face, neck and forearms should be covered with a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor when exposed to the sun (spring, summer, vacation in the south).
- The midday sun shines most intensively and therefore special care should be taken then.
- stay outside in the shade as often as possible.
- Cover your skin with light-colored, airy clothing and protect your head with a hat or cap.
- Children under one year of age should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all.
- Reduce or, if possible, completely avoid visits to solariums and long sunbathing sessions.
There is no vaccination that generally protects against cancer. Some types of cancer are caused by special viruses or other pre-existing diseases, the outbreak of which can be prevented by vaccination. How vaccination against hepatitis B can prevent liver cancer. For example, vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) protects against cervical cancer.
Keep appointments for cancer screening
Preventive examinations can often detect cancer at a stage when curative therapy is still possible.
In these examinations (z.B. Mammograms and gynecological check-ups, urological check-ups, colonoscopies or gastroscopies in case of frequent/chronic abdominal pain as well as skin checks at the dermatologist) can often already detect small abnormalities and their exact localization. Tissue samples then tell you whether or not they are actually malignant tumors. If the preventive examinations are carried out regularly, the tumors are detected at an early stage and treated in time, the spread of any cancer cells that may be present can be prevented at an early stage. If you notice any abnormalities in yourself, such as.B. frequent pain in the same place or you feel nodules, do not hesitate and consult a doctor immediately.
Preventing cancer – Conclusion
Often, the risk of developing cancer is genetic or due to defects in the genetic material. If such frequent tumor diseases are known in your family, it may be worthwhile to have certain preventive examinations carried out earlier or even to arrange for a medical-genetic clarification. As specialists, we can provide you with the appropriate assistance in this regard. Unfortunately, not every cancer can be prevented or detected in time. Nevertheless, you should try to avoid some of the risk factors known today. With the tips mentioned above, you cannot 100% prevent the development of cancer, but you can considerably reduce your personal cancer risk. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help and advise you!