There was once a time cancer was considered the ‘White man’s sickness’. In Nigeria, it was nearly impossible to hear that the cause of one’s death was cancer. In more recent times, though, there have been approximately 100,000 new recorded cases of cancer yearly, in Nigeria alone.
The most common forms of cancer among women are the cervical and breast, while for men, it is the prostate.
Here are some ways of reducing the risk of getting cancer:
NO CARBONATED DRINKS
Regular intake of carbonated drinks increases the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas and can double the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
It could increase a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer by around 40 per cent.
Drinking just one-and-a-half cans a day can increase a girl’s breast cancer risk by five per cent.
Some chemicals that are used to colour soft drinks can cause cancer.
REDUCE INTAKE OF PROCESSED FOOD
Many substances are added to foods to prolong shelf and storage life and to enhance colour, flavour and texture. Some of these substances are carcinogens: “substances or agents capable of causing cancer”.
AVOID SMOKE BY ALL MEANS
Smoke enters the body either by inhalation or digestion. When foods like suya, smoked fish or any other smoked food is eaten, you digest the smoke. Smoke is a serious risk factor of cancer. The reason for smoking food is to preserve or enhance colour and flavour.
Also, smoke can be inhaled either primarily or secondarily. When someone lights a cigarette and takes a puff of it, that person is known as the primary smoker and anyone around any form of smoke is a secondary inhaler or smoker. Either way, smoke inhalation takes place.
Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.
Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer.
Once you get into a car that has been parked or has been in the sun for a while with the windows rolled up, always roll down the window immediately you get inside. This is because the cells in the body split and regenerate every few minutes and if the stale and radioactive air in the car is not let out, the cells will split in an unconducive environment and cancer may set in.
STAY OFF RADIATION
The most common appliances used by people are the microwave, laptop and mobile phone. These appliances emit electronic radiation, which is a major risk factor of cancer. We bring these devices in close contact with parts of our bodies. Mobile phones emit radiofrequency energy (radio waves), a form of non-ionizing radiation, from their antennas. Tissues nearest to the antenna can absorb this energy.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH LIPIDS AND STEROIDS
Lipids and steroids are oils that nourish the cell. These compounds are present in bread but if they stay in it for more than a day, they spoil. They are now being extracted because they do not help to maximize profit. In their place have come butter and sugar. This way the bread lasts longer and profit is maximized.
Still, you need to find a way to consume 50% of lipid and steroid. You can find it in ofada and abakiliki rice. Local rice serves as a rich source of lipid and steroid. The compounds are capsulated in this form, making it easy to take daily, and helping to heal the white blood cells and protect the body system.
EAT LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
When a fruit leaves its tree, it starts to lose 25% of its nutrients daily; and in four days, the nutrients in that fruit will all be gone. In as much as one must consume lots of fruits and vegetables, make sure these fruits and vegetables are fresh!
TAKE A LOT OF ZINC AND SUPPLEMENTS
This is especially for the men. Take a lot of food and fruits containing zinc. Water melon seeds are a good source of zinc. Also the back of watermelon contains fibre that controls blood sugar.
Take a lot of supplements like calcium and supplemented drinks.
SCREEN YOURSELF REGULARLY
Do not be scared of going to the hospital to check yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry. Doing this reduces the risk of getting cancer and even if cancerous cells are present, they will be discovered early and something can be done about it.
There are also so many do-it-yourself tests. Either way, you will be taking care of yourself. Your health is one thing that cannot be played with.