Cancers start when some cells in the body become abnormal, multiply out of control, and take over from normal cells in the area.
These cells don’t behave the same way as normal cells: they can grow and divide faster, or live for longer.
As time passes, more and more abnormal cells are made and they start to outnumber normal cells in the area. They multiply out of control and form a cancer.
How Caner Arise?
Cancer is caused by certain changes to genes, the basic physical units of inheritance. Genes are arranged in long strands of tightly packed DNA called chromosomes.
Credit: Terese Winslow
Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide.
Genetic changes that cause cancer can be inherited from our parents. They can also arise during a person’s lifetime as a result of errors that occur as cells divide or because of damage to DNA caused by certain environmental exposures. Cancer-causing environmental exposures include substances, such as the chemicals in tobacco smoke, and radiation, such as ultraviolet rays from the sun. (Our Cancer Causes and Prevention section has more information.)
Each person’s cancer has a unique combination of genetic changes. As the cancer continues to grow, additional changes will occur. Even within the same tumor, different cells may have different genetic changes.
In general, cancer cells have more genetic changes, such as mutations in DNA, than normal cells. Some of these changes may have nothing to do with the cancer; they may be the result of the cancer, rather than its cause.
Here Are 10 Common Habits That Prevent Cancer.
1. IMPROVE YOUR DIET
A majority of cancers are caused by a bad diet and unhealthy eating habits. Start by cutting our red meat, one of the main culprits in causing malignant growths. Instead, try some of the vegetables that have been proven to detox your body, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. Another great thing to add to your meals is garlic; it contains a lot of great ingredients that increases your body’s anti-cancer defenses. So, if you were considering munching on some garlic bread tonight, or worried you’re adding too much garlic to your pasta, don’t – it’s good for you!
2. START DRINKING GREEN TEA
It might not be your favorite kind of tea, but there are a lot of health benefits to green tea that most of us never even suspected. Green tea is a natural antioxidant, and it reduces the risk of lung, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. This is only new to Western knowledge – the healing power of green tea has long been used in a lot of Asian countries, where rates of cancer are significantly lower. The hot drink also contains EGCG, which is considered a very powerful weapon to help prevent cancer.
3. STOP TANNING
We don’t mean avoid the sun altogether, as a bit of Vitamin D can never be bad for you. However, excessive tanning or (even worse) going to the tanning beds on a regular basis can increase your risk of skin cancer. Some might think that spray tans are a lesser evil. On the contrary, they contain some very harmful chemicals that can also lead to various conditions if ingested through the nose or mouth by accident. Make sure you always wear appropriate protection against the sun and use the right sunscreen for you.
4. USE PROTECTION WHEN HAVING SEX
Condoms don’t only protect you from pregnancy and STDs, but they can also help prevent cancer (some types of it). One of the most common cancers in women these days is cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV. An HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006, however vaccination rates among girls are still quite low. If you practice safe sex, especially if you change your partners frequently, make sure you’re always protected.
5. EXERCISE REGULARLY
No matter how much you work, or how much you’re telling yourself you have no time, always try to make some time for your exercise. Whether it’s jogging, hitting the gym, biking or even walking the dog a bit longer, every little bit helps. Scientific research has discovered that regular exercise can decrease the risk of cancer by over 30%.
6. CHOOSE FISH
We already talked about the importance of a good diet, however you might be wondering how to replace the red meat you crave so much. The answer is simple: fish. A good fresh salmon fillet, or another kind of fish, cooked from scratch and not from a tin, will do wonders for your health. Fish is rich in nutrients, and it’s a great replacement for red meat in your diet.
7. POSITIVE THINKING
Scientists have confirmed the link between stress and cancer. Stress makes your whole body’s defenses drop and it makes you a lot more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, including cancer. The best way to battle it is to practice mindfulness and take control of situations that normally stress you out. If you’re worried about a deadline, focus on how you’re going to get the best of it rather than on your thoughts about how you’ll fail it. Give yourself positive reinforcement and slowly eliminate stress from your life.
8. DRINK BEER AND WINE IN MODERATION
It might sound counter-intuitive, but moderate amounts of wine and beer can protect you from a bacterium called H. pylori, which is one of the leading causes of stomach cancer. However, you shouldn’t overdo it either. Consuming too much alcohol can just as easily increase your risk of cancer. It’s always best to speak to your doctor for any advice if you feel like you’re high-risk.
9. REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
We’ve heard a lot about why sugary drinks are bad as they are one of the leading causes of diabetes and obesity in the US. However, they can also be a cause for endometrial cancer. The bad thing about sugary drinks is that they’re highly addictive and it’s hard to ignore them, because even “zero” sugar products still have an artificial sweetener in them. Read the ingredients of all products you buy to make sure you aren’t consuming too much sugar.
10. GET TESTED
The best preventative measures against all cancers are to know your body well and to get tested often. If you know there’s a danger because of your family history, don’t skip your mammogram or your cervical smear. You never know when a test will come back positive and 20 minutes of inconvenience may mean that your life will be saved. The earlier cancer symptoms are caught, the more treatable they are – so don’t miss your tests.