Cancer In Women
Cancer is a genetic disease which is vulnerable to mutation, but according to studies and evidences, the percentage of risk of inheriting cancer is quite low. Rather, there are a number of self-inflicted factors in our lives which can lead to cancer. For instance, the use of tobacco, exposure to harmful industrial chemicals and radiation, body composition, low nutrition, and untimely physical activity.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, the number of new cases of cancer is around 14.5 lakh and is expected to grow to over 17.3 lakh by 2020. Further, the number of deaths due to cancer is over 7.36 lakh and is expected to grow to over 8.8 lakh deaths by 2020. Research indicates that nearly 46 per cent of women suffering from cancer are below the age Of 50 years and of that nearly 16 per cent in the age group of 30-40 years.
Incidence of cancer in women has also been attributed to late marriage, late pregnancy, and multiple sex partners. The scary part is that one in eight Indians is likely to develop cancer in their lifetime. And a published study states that stomach cancer, breast, and cervical cancers are responsible for the majority of deaths among women in India. Also, as per the International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are three stages of prevention. These are as follows:
1. Primary Prevention:
The purpose of primary prevention is to limit the incidence of cancer by controlling exposure to risk factors or increasing individuals’ resistance to them.
2. Secondary Prevention:
Secondary prevention refers to detection of cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective, than at the time of usual diagnosis and treatment.
3. Tertiary Prevention:
Tertiary prevention consists of alleviation of disability resulting from disease in order to improve the outcome of illness among affected individuals.
Sedentary Lifestyle And Obesity
With industrialization and urbanization, a sedentary lifestyle has become a common phenomenon. Overweight and obesity are much more common especially in high-income countries, where these cases are being doubled. But also in some countries in Asia and Latin America and also in Africa, chronic diseases, including obesity are now more common than other health issues and infectious diseases. Being overweight or obese, escalates the risk of some cancers.
Thus, the maintenance of a healthy body weight for a longer lifespan could help in keeping cancer away. Further, patients undergoing cancer treatment or those who have already undergone cancer treatment are less likely to be depressed and anxious, if they are physically active. Being active also combats fatigue during cancer treatment.
Impact Of Physical Activity And Breast Cancer
In India, 27 per cent of cancer affected women are suffering with breast cancer. According to studies of the National Cancer Institute, USA the risk percentage is reduced by nearly 12 per cent in physically active women. Besides, studies have indicated that performing a physical activity reduced risk levels in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
The maintenance of a healthy body weight for a longer lifespan could help in keeping cancer away
It is also observed that in breast cancer survivors performing physical activity, there are positive signs of decreased mortality and increased physiological functions. Observations also witnessed changes in metabolic biomarkers like increased cardio-respiratory functions, muscular strength and immune cell components.
Impact Of Physical Activity On Endometrial Cancer
Studies have indicated that the women following an active fitness program have 20 per cent lower risk of this cancer, compared to women with low physical activity. In the case of endometrial cancer.
4 Dietary Habits For Prevention Of Cancer
1. Limit Energy-Dense Foods And Sugary Drinks
Consume plant-based foods that contain high level of nutrients and sufficient quantities of dietary fibre (found in non-starch polysaccharides
2. Limit Intake Of Animal Foods And Avoid Processed Meat
Avoid alcoholic drinks. Pregnant women should not drink alcohol as it may pose a threat to the baby’s health. Consuming processed meat on a regular basis can also increase the risk of cancer.
3. Limit Consumption Of Salt
Investigations conducted on methods of food preservation, preparation and processing have indicated that salt and foods preserved using salt, are one of the reasons which cause stomach cancer. Foods infested with aflatoxins can cause liver cancer.
4. Avoid Dietary supplements
Certain studies also indicate that consuming excessive quantity of nutrient supplements can cause cancer.
While research is still underway regarding the causes of cancer, there are enough studies that indicate that cancer can be addressed or prevented by food, nutrition, and physical activity.