Unfortunate reality of rise in Cancer incidence

Half a century ago a person was far more likely to die from heart disease. Now cancer is on the verge of overtaking it as the No. 1 cause of death.

I am frequently asked why so many people these days are being diagnosed with cancer?

So …what could account for the rise in cancer cases? While human genes haven’t changed drastically over recent years, conditions in and around them have shifted. Lifestyle factors like diet and bad habits certainly play a role in our cellular health, as our life expectancy and the job we do. The rates of many chronic diseases have fallen in the past decades, but cancer is not behaving in the same fashion for a few reasons. When coming to cancer, one fact is very clear the older we get the higher is our risk; the longer we live, the more time we have for errors to build up. And so, as time passes, our risk of developing cancer goes up as we accumulate more of these faults in our genes. While tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment have improved, lifestyle has gone in the other direction. Poor lifestyle and sedentary habits have become the norm, which makes people overweight or obese increasing the risk of cancer. It has been estimated that over half a million cancers worldwide can be directly linked to obesity and inactivity every year. Obesity is tied to number of cancers including Breast, Colon, Oesophagus, Pancreatic, Endometrial, Kidney and Thyroid. In fact obesity threatens to overtake smoking as a number one risk factor for cancer. Other lifestyles like a diet that is high in red meats (such as beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (such as hot dogs and some luncheon meats) can raise our risk of colorectal cancer .Drinking more alcohol, more regularly ups our risk for Breast, mouth, oesophageal and colon cancer. Sun bathing increases risk of skin cancer. On the other hand changing reproductive habits could explain why rates of breast ovarian and some other reproductive cancer haven’t fallen much despite introduction of HPV vaccine and more conscientious screening. How we choose to feed and protect our body can go far to reducing our risk of invasive cancer, most notably skin and colon cancer.

Cancer is currently more common in men than women, but due to changes in lifestyle women are catching up fast. It’s clear that unless progress is made in tackling obesity and other preventable causes of cancer, more people of both sexes will be diagnosed with the disease every year. We can all take the initiative in reducing our chance of getting cancer by eating more healthily, drinking less and doing more exercise.

Facing cancer was never easy, but you can take some comfort in that, prognosis has never been better than it is today. Like many life threatening medical conditions, early diagnosis can increase your likely hood of beating the disease and living a long life.

Thankfully in this day and age, receiving a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

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SUPERGREENS

Health Benefits of Shalgam patte (Turnip Greens)

• Improves digestive health

• High in antioxidant

• Anti-inflammatory

• Improves heart health

• Improves bone health

• Rich source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate , fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin B6

• Rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus

• Reduces bad cholesterol

• Increases haemoglobin levels

Health Benefits of Colocassia leaves (arbi ke patte)

• Best eaten when cooked

• Rich in antioxidant

• High in fibre and boost digestive health

• Improves eye sight (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol (fibre & methionione)

• Rich in iron (increases haemoglobin levels)

• Rich in Folate (good for pregnant women)

• Boost heart health (Potassium, fibre, reduces homocysteine level)

• Rich in Vitamin C & Threonine (slows aging)

Health Benefits of Amaranth (Chauli leaves)

• High in iron –increases haemoglobin

• Rich in antioxidant

• Rich in calcium- strengthens bones

• Boost digestive health

• Rich in vitamin K

• Boost eye health (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Presence of lysine (an essential amino acid) along with vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and vitamin C helps to fight against formation of malignant cells.

Health Benefits of Radish Leaves (Muli ke patte)

• Reduces constipation

• Rich in Iron (increases haemoglobin levels )

• Rich in calcium, folic acid, vitamin C

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Helps in flushing out toxins from the body- antibacterial

• Boost immune system

Health Benefits of Curry leaves – kadi patta

• Rich in antioxidant

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Helps to cure indigestion (gas, acidity)

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Cancer fighting properties

• Rich in Beta carotene – strengthens eye sight and good for hair growth

• Protects liver and helps in detoxification

Health Benefits of Dill leaves/Shepu/Sowa/Suvani bhaji

• Chemo protective

• Boost immunity

• Reduces inflammation

• Contains potent antioxidant enzyme

• Good source of calcium thereby making bones stronger

• Prevents bacterial overgrowth

• Improves digestive health- releases digestive juices and relives from constipation

• Good source of Vitamin A & C

• Rich in iron thus maintains haemoglobin levels

• Maintains proper menstrual cycle

• Has calming properties and can aid insomnia

Health Benefits of Cauliflower greens

• Richest source of iron- increases haemoglobin

• Rich source of calcium- strengthens bones

• High in fibre

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8 Magical Indian Spices that prevent Cancer

The goodness of Indian spices with cancer-fighting properties and the necessity of their inclusion to our eating habits.

Turmeric/Curcumin: This is the king of spices Turmeric contains the powerful polyphenol Curcumin that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing prostate cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and leukemia amongst a host of others. Curcumin promotes ‘Apoptosis’- (programmed cell death/cell suicide) that safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells.

Fennel: Loaded with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants, cancer cells have nothing but to accept defeat when the spice is fennel. ‘Anethole’, a major constituent of fennel resists and restricts the invasive activities of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic regulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication. A tomato-fennel soup with garlic make for an ideal entry prior to course meal.

Saffron: A natural carotenoid compound called ‘Crocetin’ is the primary cancer-fighting element that saffron contains. It not only inhibits the progression of the disease but also decreases the size of the tumour by half, a complete goodbye to cancer. Though it is the most expensive spice in the world a few saffron threads come loaded with benefits you won’t regret paying for. Saffron threads can be used in milk, soups, and porridges.

Cumin: Yes, it aids digestion and that is why we like chewing a handful of cumin seeds at the end of every meal. However, its health benefits go beyond. A portent herb with anti-oxidant characteristics, cumin seeds contains a compound called ‘Thymoquinone’ that checks proliferation of cells responsible for prostate cancer. So, instead of loading your usual snack options with calories and oil, add this seasoning to your bread, fried beans or sauce, tadka dal and make the dish rich in flavour and high on health.

Cinnamon: It takes not more than a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder every day to keep cancer risk away. A natural food preservative, cinnamon is a source of iron and calcium. Useful in reducing tumour growth, it blocks the formation of new vessels in the human body. Some of the effective ways of including cinnamon in your diet are:

-Start your day with a cup of cinnamon tea

-Make your breakfast meal a super healthy one by adding this spice to your
morning oatmeal!

-Honey and cinnamon in your glass of milk before going to bed.

Capsaicin (Chilli/Bell peppers): A promising spice with anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin induces the process of apoptosis that destroys potential cancer cells and reduces the size of leukemia tumour cells considerably. It can be concluded that apart from setting our tongues on fire, bell peppers can scare cancer pathogens off too.

Ginger: This humble spice boasts of medicinal qualities that help lowering cholesterol, boost metabolism and kill cancer cells. Easily added to vegetable dishes, fish preparations and salads, ginger enhances the flavour in cooking.

Garlic: The most powerful anti-cancer spice. It lowers the risk of developing all types of cancers especially colon, stomach, intestinal, and prostate cancer. It has strong antibacterial properties as well as the ability to block formation and halt activation of cancer-causing substances. It stops cancer growth and kills cancer cells. Recommended adult dosage of fresh garlic approximately one clove per day.

Others: Cloves, anise, basil, fenugreek, mustard, mint leaves, rosemary, Limonin (fresh lemon), virgin olive, vinegar and avocado are other cancer-fighting diet components.

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ORAL CANCER and its prevention

Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers,
if caught early.

Oral cancer is the most common cancer in India; as 4 in 10 of all cancers are oral cancers. Annually 130,000 people succumb to oral cancer in India The reason for high prevalence of oral cancer in India is primarily because tobacco is consumed in the form of gutkha, quid, snuff or misri. Oral cancer belongs to a larger group of cancers called head and neck cancers. Most develop in the squamous cells found in the tissues that line the mouth and lips. They are most often discovered after they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Early detection is key to surviving oral cancer.

One of the biggest risk factors of oral cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use, especially when both products are used on a regular basis. Other risk factors include HPV infection (a sexually transmitted virus),chronic facial sun exposure, a previous diagnosis of oral cancer, a family history of oral or other types of cancer.

Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore on the lips or mouth that won’t heal,a mass or growth anywhere in the mouth, bleeding from the mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty with swallowing, trouble wearing dentures, lump in neck, ear-ache that won’t go away, dramatic weight loss; lower lip, face, neck, or chin numbness, white, red patches in mouth or lip . Many times people will notice a sore mouth but usually will not take it too seriously and just wait for it to go away. During this period of waiting, the cancer may be metastasizing or spreading. Regular dental or doctor examinations usually discover many oral cancers. Some of the tests used to confirm the diagnosis include a biopsy along with X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans to determine if the cancer has spread. Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers. One of the most important things you can do is visit a doctor once a year for a complete oral examination.

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PREVENTION OF CANCER BY EXERCISE

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato(427-347 B.C.)

 

Thus comes the important role of exercise to maintain our natural health. We now know that cancer is a preventable disease; atleast 70% cancers can be prevented by just altering our life-styles. There are lots of ways by which we can prevent cancer of which one is exercise of course. More than 200 epidemiologic studies have been done to show that exercise can prevent Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Lung Cancer, Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer, Kidney Cancer and probably Prostate Cancer also.

~Breast Cancer:
At least 60 studies were done till 2006 on exercise to show the reduction of Breast Cancer risk. The data show that inactive women are more prone to get Breast Cancer. On an average, around 60 percent reduction of Breast Cancer risk can be obtained by physical activity in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women by only 30- minute exercise daily.

~Colon Cancer:
Research works revealed that risk of Colon Cancer can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent relative to those who lead the sedentary life as it is evident from more than 50 studies till 2006.

~Lung Cancer:
Similarly Lung Cancer risk is also reduced by exercise and this is shown in almost 21 studies till 2005

~Endometrical Cancer:
We have got about 20 studies till 2006, which reveal the physical activity is reducing the risk of endometrial cancer incidence by 20 to 40 percent.

~Prostate Cancer:
There are about 36 research works on the relation of Prostate Cancer and physical activity till 2006. These studies show there might be probability to reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer by exercise.

How much exercise is sufficient?
Research works show that exercise for 30 minutes daily is sufficient to reduce your cancer risk.

What kind of exercise we should do?

1) Go on cycling, dancing, skipping, walking, running, swimming etc.

2) Get off the bus or tram one stop earlier and just walk the rest to reach your destination.

3) Do your household works extensively like cleaning the rooms, gardening, mowing the lawn.

4) Do the works which need sitting and standing.

5) Instead of using lift or escalator, walk up the stairs.

6) Involve with sports like football, cricket, tennis. All sorts of indoor games, athletics etc.

7) Yoga-exercise, light jogging etc. may be preferable.

8) Join a sports-club or a team.

9) Try often to walk to visit your friends rather than send them an e-mail or s.m.s.

10) Try to vary the type of physical activity, so that you would not get bored.

11) Last of all, if your job compel you to sit for a long hours, try to get up of the chair and move for two minutes at an interval of every hour.

Please remember “Prevention is better than cure” and this is applicable to cancer also.

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