Photo source: U.S.National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons
Drinking, excess weight, and smoking are now the top three causal factors of cancer cases in the United States.According to a new study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the three factors are common in the number of cancer cases and deaths.The authors estimated that the cases and deaths for 26 cancer types in American adults ages 34 and older in 2014, were connected to unhealthy lifestyle:
- Primary and second-hand smoking exposures.
- Excess body weight, overweight or obesity.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Low intake of fruits and vegetables.
- Low dietary fiber intake.
- Low calcium levels.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
The data was collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.About 42 percent of cancer cases and 45.1 cancer deaths were associated with those risk factors, excluding cases for the non-melanoma skin cancers.The estimated cancer cases and cancer deaths associated with the risk factors are as follows:
Lung cancers had the highest number of cases of 184,970 cases and 132, 960 deaths.It was followed by colorectal cancer with 76,910 cases and 29,290 deaths.Six cancer-associated infections were also included in the study.The Helicobacter pylori that causes gastric ulcer, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, human herpesvirus type 8, human immunodeficiency virus, and human papillomavirus were also taken into account.
"Our findings emphasize the continued need for widespread implementation of known preventive measures in the country to reduce the morbidity and premature mortality from cancers associated with potentially modifiable risk factors," said the researchers.
Preventive Measures Against Cancer
People can easily take preventive measures by making simple lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of developing cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
1.Do not smoke or chew any tobacco productsSmoking has been associated with cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix, and kidney.Second-hand smoking also increases your risk of developing lung cancer.There are many methods and treatment options to help you quit smoking, which you consult with your doctor.
2.Shift to a Healthy DietEating right can help reduce the chances of developing cancer.Essential nutrients from certain food sources fight off the growth of cancer cells.Eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid sugars, limit your intake of saturated fats or fats found in butter, cheese, and other animal-based products, minimize consumption of processed meats like canned or frozen foods, and drink always in moderation.
3.Achieve a Healthy WeightBy shifting to a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can easily achieve an ideal weight.Achieving this reduces the risk of developing cancers of the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and kidney.Moreover, being physically active reduces risks of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and improving your overall view of life, with fewer chances of feeling anxious and depressed.
4.Never Overexpose Under the Sun's RadiationUltraviolet radiation causes skin cancers to develop.Avoid spending time outdoors when the sun is at its peak, between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.If you are outside, stay in areas with shade, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and wear a cap or hat to protect your head from extreme heat.If you cannot avoid going outside, cover exposed parts of your body and wear outfits with bright or dark colors.These colors reflect UV rays.If you are at the beach for some tanning, put generous amounts of sunscreen to protect your skin and reapply often.
5.Get VaccinatedIn the report, some viruses have been found to be associated with cancer.Hepatitis B and HPV can cause cancer by damaging the organs they infect.You can get vaccines for these viruses to prevent infection.Also, these viruses are transmittable via sexual intercourse.
6.Stop Any Risky BehaviorsAs mentioned above, HBV and HPV are sexually transmitted infections like HIV.It is highly recommended to practice safe sex to prevent getting these pathogens.You can also avoid other infectious agents, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis by committing to safe sex.
7.Routine Medical ExaminationGetting a regular medical checkup is important to know the current state of your health.This is very important to people with a family history cancer and other diseases.There are several screening tests used to detect the presence of abnormal growths or malignant tumors.
Treatment options for cancer come in several types and the success will depend on the cancer type and its severity.Current treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, stem cell transplant, and precision medicine.Some cancer patients may need a combination of treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy or surgery and hormone therapy, to kill the cancer cells and prevent it from coming back.