World Cancer Day: I can make healthy lifestyle choices

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World Cancer Day

Taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can.’, World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. Diagnosing cancer isn’t always easy – not all cancers show early signs and symptoms and other warning signs appear quite late when the cancer is advanced.World cancer day

Everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of cancer by choosing healthy options including quitting smoking, keeping physically active and choosing healthy food and drinks.

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Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer globally. Quitting smoking will have a major positive impact on an individual’s health and that of their families and friends. The good news is that quitting at any age is beneficial, increasing life expectancy and improving quality of life.

Individuals can also reduce their risk of many common cancers by maintaining a healthy weight, and making physical activity part of their everyday lives,. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of ten cancers – bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney, liver, advanced prostate and gallbladder cancers.

SEE: Breast cancer: its causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Specific changes to a person’s diet can also make a difference – for example, individuals can limit their intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.

Alcohol is also strongly linked with an increased risk of several cancers. Reducing alcohol consumption decreases the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel, liver and breast.

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Overall, more than a third of common cancers could be prevented by a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight. Reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and other sources, such as solariums, is also important to reduce the risk of many skin cancers

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