11 Ways to Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer
Cancer is increasing year on year in Ireland.
By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime.
In Ireland an average of 40,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. The most common of these are skin, prostate, breast, bowel and lung cancer.
We know that 4 out of 10 cancers can be prevented. By not smoking, eating healthy, healthy weight, watching our alcohol intake and taking regular exercise can lower our risk of getting cancer.
Here are some ways to reduce the risk of developing cancer and preventing it:
Screening for Cancer
Regular screening can help detect cancer at an early stage and once cancer is caught early, there is a greater chance of full recovery and survival.
Smoking causes cancer
Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoking causes cancer and that is a fact as one in three cancers is linked to smoking. It is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer and various other cancers. Lung cancer is one of the biggest killer cancers in Ireland as it is usually at a later stage when detected. Smoking is an addiction but like any addiction it can be stopped and deciding to do this could save your life. It is estimated that, 2013, 5950 premature deaths were attributed to smoking and second hand exposure with over 200,000 admissions into hospitals. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals, 60 of these are carcinogenic, compounds that can cause cancer. Half of smokers will die from tobacco related disease.
Watching your Weight
Weight is an important factor as it can increase your chance of developing cancer. People who have a healthy weight have an estimated 18% lower risk of cancer compared to people who are overweight.
Regular exercise is important both for the mind and body. It is recommended to maintain at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday.
You are what you eat so a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains is good to maintain a healthy body and immune system. By limiting salts, sugars, fats, red meats and processed foods you are reducing the risks of cancer.
Alcohol intake can increase your risk of developing cancer as it damages your DNA and is very high in calories. You don’t have to be drunk to increase your risk of Cancer, simply drinking increases your chances.
The sun in Ireland is underestimated and causes skin cancer. It is one of the most common causes of cancer in Ireland. Avoid too much sun and always wear sun screen.
Chemical exposure and pollutants
If you work in a hazardous workplace and are exposed to toxic chemicals and pollutants you are at risk of getting cancer. Wear protective clothing and mask and follow health and safety procedures. Exposure to Asbestos can be very dangerous and can cause cancer like lung cancer.
Irish people receive a high dose of radiation and approximately 86% comes from natural sources. The principle sources of radiation are radon, cosmic radiation, natural radioactivity in soils, thoron, natural radioactivity in food, exposure to artificial radiation and medical exposure. Radon is natural and occurs in the Earths crust so it is wise to check the levels where you are residing and working. For more information www.epa.ie/radiation/exposure
Limit Hormone Replacement Treatment
Women over the age of 50 who take HRT for more than five years or more are slightly more at risk of breast cancer. Regular breast checking is advised.
HPV & Hepatitis B Vaccinations
By ensuring that your children take the vaccination programme can prevent and/or reduce the risk of cancers caused by infectious agents including viruses and bacteria. There is an estimated 420 annual number of cancers caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) in Ireland. These types of cancers can be prevented with the vaccines.
We have helped many of our clients with adequate life insurance and health cover in the event of any illness developing cancer