A Healthier Way to Live
It may often seem like everything we use or eat has a cancer warning these days. And while, in some cases, cancer may be caused by unpreventable factors, like genetics, we can do a few things to reduce our risk of developing cancer. This article looks at tips to help prevent cancer, the signs and treatment options like Ibrance a medication commonly used in the treatment of certain types of breast cancer.
Signs of Breast Cancer
- Lump in the breast or underarm.
- Changes in breast size or shape.
- Unexplained pain in the breast or nipple.
- Skin changes on the breast (redness, dimpling).
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
- Changes in nipple appearance (inversion, flattening).
- Persistent itching of the breast or nipple.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight may decrease your cancer risk and your risk of developing various chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and more. In particular, it’s thought a healthy weight may lower the risk of lung, colon, breast, prostate and kidney cancer.
While why this helps is still under investigation, there are a few theories; excess body fat can lead to increased insulin and growth factors, which may lead to the growth of cancer cells. Fat cells are also well-known to release sex hormones, which may lead to cancer when off-balance. Excess body fat is also associated with widespread inflammation, which can increase the likelihood of cancer cell development.
Maintaining a healthy weight often comes down to a healthy lifestyle, such as adequate physical activity, a balanced and healthy diet, reduced stress and proper sleep.
2. Don’t Smoke (or Quit)
Smoking is linked to various health conditions, including cancer. In particular, many cigarette packaging now comes with a lung cancer warning. On top of this, smoking may lead to mouth, bladder, kidney cervix, throat, pancreas and voice box cancer.
Even chewing tobacco may increase your risk due to the damage these toxins cause. This is why it’s best to forego it altogether or find a way to quit if you’re an avid smoker.
3. Drink Alcohol in Moderation (or Avoid it Altogether)
Alcohol is associated with various cancers, like lung, kidney, liver, breast and colon cancer. In fact, the CDC claims that drinking three or more drinks per day can significantly increase your stomach and pancreatic cancer risk.
So, how does alcohol lead to cancer exactly? Well, after the consumption of alcohol, acetaldehyde is broken down in the body, and this can lead to DNA damage. When DNA damage occurs, the cells may grow out of control leading to cancer.
4. Use Sun Protection
About 80% of skin cancer is due to damage caused by sun exposure. This cellular damage leads to an increased risk of genetic mutations and cellular growth, causing cancer. However, there are many ways to counteract this, including:
Cover up! Wear light long sleeves and a hat, or stay in the shade when outside for long durations.
Use sunscreen, and don’t forget to re-apply if you’re in the sun for hours or going in and out of the water.
Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun is the strongest and when we are most likely to get burned.
Avoid tanning beds, as frequent use of these can lead to cancer, and if you want to prevent melanoma, you don’t want to be doing this!
5. Avoid Risky Lifestyle Choices and Behaviors
This means not sharing needles (or avoiding doing drugs altogether!). Practicing safe sex is encouraged as well, such as wearing a condom, to reduce your risk of HPV, which can lead to cancer. Vaccination against certain diseases, such as HPV and hepatitis B, may also reduce your risk of cancer.
6. Eat a Healthy Diet
The body can only do so much with what it’s given. For a healthy and robust body, we need to consume various nutrients. This often means eating primarily whole foods, such as eggs, veggies, fruits, red meat, fish and more.
In addition to the above, reducing or limiting the number of processed foods you eat may also significantly reduce your cancer risk as this lowers the number of toxins or chemicals your body needs to process, break down and eliminate.
The Mediterranean diet, in particular, is considered one of the best diets to follow for the consumption of adequate nutrients, longevity benefits and reduced risk of various diseases. This type of diet incorporates nuts, olives, fatty fish and extra-virgin olive oil, and is largely plant-based.
Ibrance for Breast Cancer
Ibrance is a special medicine that helps people with a certain kind of breast cancer. It works by slowing down the growth of the bad cells that make the cancer. People usually take it along with other treatments to make sure it works the best. It's kind of like a superhero medicine that fights against the bad guys in the body and helps people feel better.
While, in some cases, preventing cancer isn’t always possible, we can be aware of ways to reduce our risk. Following the above tips will also lead to a healthier life and reduce your risk of various other chronic and life-threatening diseases, helping you live longer and better.