We’re excited to welcome Anika Austrie to the Avazera Wellness Community! Anika is a community advocate who uses her background in psychology along with her passion for equity and holistic health to ignite and facilitate conversation around important issues. In today’s post, Anika through her work at the Cancer Canadian Society shares what you need to know about cancer prevention!
1 in 2. That’s how many Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Through my work at the Canadian Cancer Society, I’ve met with volunteers of all backgrounds. Some of them are cancer survivors, others are living with the disease and many have lost their loved ones to the big C. These days it’s hard to meet someone who has not been affected by cancer.
While the 1 in 2 statistic is alarming, we also know that most people will survive their cancer diagnosis and about a third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active, and maintaining a healthy body weight.
With all the conflicting information on the internet about cancer and diet, it’s hard to know if you’re on the right track. Over time many of us create our own versions of healthy living which might allow for the occasional wine binge or suntan. But is that ok, or are we putting ourselves at risk?
If you want to be proactive in cancer prevention, but aren’t sure what steps to take, here are some tips based on current research from the Canadian Cancer Society.
Cancer Prevention: Three Tips to Reduce Your Risk
1.) Live a Smoke-Free Life
Smokers are about twenty times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Quitting may be hard but is the only solution to reducing risk. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes they smoke each day, the more their risk increases.
Smokers on the road to quitting have a few things to look forward to:
– Twenty minutes after quitting blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
– After one year, the risk of heart attack is cut in half
– After ten years of quitting risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
2.) Slow Down on the Alcohol
Smoking and drinking together (and the number of drinks you have) increases your risk of developing cancer. We should limit our alcohol intake to less than one drink a day for women and less than two drinks a day for men. And no. You cannot be sober Monday to Friday and throw back six glasses of pinot on Saturday night. Sorry. While a glass of wine after work, on the other hand, is within the recommended guidelines. A tip for reducing alcohol consumption is to unwind without alcohol. Try sipping on some Zen Tea which is perfect for relaxation and filled with tons of antioxidants.
3.) Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
More than half of all Canadians have excess weight, putting them at increased risk for several types of cancer like stomach, kidney and pancreatic cancer. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight isn’t easy for everyone, but it is too important not to try. Here are some tips:
– Increase your fruit and veggies intake: Think of a rainbow when selecting your produce. Different coloured fruit and veggies provide different nutrients.
– Eat less red meat and avoid processed meat: Red meats are beef, pork, lamb, and goat. Processed meats include ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs, and sausages. If your diet includes processed meat or is high in red meat, your risk of colorectal cancer goes up.
– Eat lots of fibre: Fibre helps your digestive system work and a high-fiber diet protects against colorectal cancer. An easy way to add fibre to your diet is by adding a tablespoon of Baobab in your morning drink or smoothie. Your body needs soluble and insoluble fibre and baobab contains both.
– Get moving! And I am not talking about a stroll on a beautiful day. Adults should have at least thirty minutes of moderate activity a day at a pace that gets the heart going. Walk quickly, take the stairs, or do an aerobics class.
The important part is being aware of what is good for your body and what is not! Once you understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, know you are worth the sacrifice. Is cancer prevention important to you? Is it something you think of? Let us know in the comments section below.