More than 40 percent of all cancer cases could be avoided by following a few simple rules.
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Brunner, MD Mareike Alter and Andre Napiontek
Magdeburg The following seven behaviors can reduce your risk of cancer:
- 1. Do not smoke
- 2. Maintain a healthy weight
- 3. Protect yourself from the sun
- 4. Drink some alcohol
- 5. Eat high fiber
- 6. Eat some meat
- 7. be physically active
But beware, there are interconnections between different areas and one should not think that physical activity is the least important.
"The secret to success is to start," said Mark Twain, and we can apply this set 1: 1 in sports. Excessive food supply, while reducing physical exertion, leads to an imbalance between the amount of energy delivered and energy consumption. The result is a lack of physical activity as well as slow metabolism. As a result, organ activity is not sufficiently sought after and therefore permanently adversely affected, favoring defective cell division until tumor cell formation.
Regular, well-dosed exercise stimulates the essential processes of maintenance and adaptation in the cardiovascular system, metabolic activities, but also muscles and bones. In addition, the "healing power of movement," stronger than has long been believed, has a profoundly positive effect on our psyche and brain activities. In addition, symptoms of acute or even chronic pain or accompanying illness can be significantly alleviated.
For example, in cancer, increased blood flow through physical activity inhibits the survival and growth of cancer cells. All these factors improve the quality of life – both in the prevention (cancer) of the disease and in the direct course (cancer) of the disease, or even in view of the risk of recurrence. It is not surprising that physically active persons are more likely to be of normal weight. The problem is that the Federal Bureau of Statistics found that in 2017, more than 50 percent of all adults were overweight. Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) above 25. Anyone with a BMI greater than 30 is obese. BMI is calculated from body weight divided by the square of height.
A healthy weight reduces the risk of 13 cancers. These are breast cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, gastric-oesophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid cancer, myeloma (blood cancer) and meningioma (brain tumor) ). Among them are breast cancer and colon cancer, and thus the two most important cancers.
But it also includes the three deadliest cancers, namely pancreatic, esophageal and gallbladder cancer. The link between obesity and diet is very close. Processed meat, such as sausage, dried meat, or smoked meat, not only contains fat, but is also a factor responsible for colon cancer. In contrast, fiber-rich foods can protect against colon cancer because it speeds up stool passage and also leads to greater bowel movement. A healthy diet consists of half fruits and vegetables, one quarter chicken, fish, beans and eggs, and another quarter potatoes, brown rice, bread and pasta.
Alcohol should be mentioned in connection with food. One gram of alcohol has a nutritional value of just under one gram of fat, so it increases weight, but this is not in itself the only problem with alcohol. Because it triggers seven types of cancer. Alcohol is not known to cause colon cancer and breast cancer. In addition, alcohol is also responsible for head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, throat cancer and liver cancer.
Avoid sun exposure
That smoking is not healthy can be seen with every glance at the cigarette box. But would you know? Smoking is not only responsible for lung cancer, it can also cause 14 other cancers! To include head and toe nasal and paranasal sinus cancers, oral tumors, pharyngeal tumors, throat cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and leukemia . It is important to know that alcohol enhances the effect of smoking on the onset of cancer. This is known, for example, for the ear, nose and throat area.
Skin cancer is the most common malignant tumor in humans. For most different types of skin cancer, sunlight (UV radiation) plays a major role in development. That's why reasonable access to the sun is important.
Children are especially notable here. Your skin is particularly sensitive to sunlight. It can very quickly lead to sunburn and can be damaged, leading to skin cancer later. In particular, children should not be exposed to direct sunlight. In addition, appropriate clothing is useful, you should always think of a headgear. When using sunscreen, care should be taken to use the product specifically for baby and baby skin.
Even in adulthood, it is important to handle sunlight healthy to avoid skin cancer. Again, special attention should be paid to the prevention of solar radiation. Avoid a long stay in the sun during lunch. Sunbathing is taboo.
So-called at-risk patients, for example, light skin type, family stress, patients with skin cancer, must use special protection. Textiles work best here. The face and hands should be protected with a sunscreen that has high sun protection. You need to apply a thicker layer to achieve the specified protection factor.
* Dr. Thomas Brunner is the director of the clinic at the University Radiation Hospital in Magdeburg, MD. Mareike Alter is a Senior Physician at the Department of Dermatology in Magdeburg, and André Napiontek is a sports scientist and board member of the Association for Health, Physical Activity and Sports at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg eV.