Plenty of us worry that cancer is one of those awful things you inherit through damaged family DNA, and is, therefore, something you can’t shrug off. The good news, however, is that the proportion of cancers caused by inherited faulty DNA is very small. In fact, experts say that only 2-3 out of every 100 cancer cases are associated with inheriting damaged DNA.1
As for the rest of the cancer cases, most of them are a result of the patients making bad lifestyle choices. Studies report that 25–30% cancers are caused due to smoking, while as many as 30–35% are linked to unhealthy diet patterns. Another 15–20% cancer cases are caused by infections while the remaining percentage is caused by other factors like stress, radiation, and environmental pollutants.2
What this means is that as long as you lead a healthy lifestyle, your chances of getting cancer are probably minuscule. Here are a few novel cancer-reducing strategies to help you get started.
Stay Safe In The Sun
Research reports that skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the US. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will most likely develop skin cancer at some point in their life. 3
In order to prevent skin cancer, it is important to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays from touching your skin as much as possible. Try and wear loose, airy full-sleeved clothes each time you’re getting ready to spend a day in the sun. Also, invest in some high quality, broad range sunscreen that will give you long lasting protection from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Remember to always apply sunscreen on your skin, even if you’re going out for a short while. If you’re out for longer hours, carry it along with you so that you can keep reapplying it.
Load Up On Water
Staying hydrated all the time can dilute the concentration of cancer-causing agents in your urine.4 Naturally, this process of dilution will also bring down the damage they can cause to your cells. Besides, filling up on water and fluids will also help flush out these cancer agents out of your body faster. According to experts, you’d do well to down at least 8 glasses of water each day.5
Drink a little extra on hot days, or when you’re undergoing vigorous activity to make up for the water your body loses through perspiration.
Eat Up Your Greens
The next time you’re picking out veggies to build your salad, choose the darkest leafy green varieties. The dark green color in leaves denotes the presence of high levels of chlorophyll, a molecule that collects light. According to research, chlorophyll binds carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, aflatoxin (a toxin from food molds which causes liver cancer), and other hydrophobic molecules. Because the chlorophyll-carcinogen complex is so much harder for your body to absorb, most of it is discarded through the feces.6
4. Marinate Your Meats Before Grilling
If grilled meat is more your thing, make sure to add some antioxidant-rich spices like rosemary and thyme to your favorite marinade and give your meat a good rub with this mixture. The antioxidants in these spices can dramatically cut down the presence of these toxic cancerous compounds by as much as 87%.9
5. Get Your Heart Pumping
Involving yourself in moderate-intensity exercises like brisk walking or jogging on a regular basis can lower your risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise helps your body burn fat, which would otherwise produce its own estrogen – one of the main precursors to breast cancer.10
|↑1||Can cancer be prevented? Cancer Research UK.|
|↑2||Anand, Preetha, Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakara, Chitra Sundaram, Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar, Sheeja T. Tharakan, Oiki S. Lai, Bokyung Sung, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes.” Pharmaceutical research 25, no. 9 (2008): 2097-2116.|
|↑3||Skin cancer. American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑4||Bar David, Yair, Benjamin Gesundheit, Jacob Urkin, and Joseph Kapelushnik. “Water intake and cancer prevention.” Journal of clinical oncology 22, no. 2 (2004): 383-385.|
|↑5||How much water should I drink? American Cancer Society.|
|↑6||Donaldson, Michael S. “Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet.” Nutrition journal 3, no. 1 (2004): 19.|
|↑7, ↑8||John, Esther M., Mariana C. Stern, Rashmi Sinha, and Jocelyn Koo. “Meat consumption, cooking practices, meat mutagens, and risk of prostate cancer.” Nutrition and cancer 63, no. 4 (2011): 525-537.|
|↑9||Effects of marinades on the formation of heterocyclic amines in grilled beef steaks.
|↑10||Trim your cancer risk with exercise. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.|