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Conquering the Big C

Us humans are creatures of habit and like routine. Which means changing certain aspects of our diet or lifestyle that we have enjoyed for years can be daunting. But if you knew that just a small change could help prevent cancer, would you do it?

Experts estimate up to four out of ten cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes alone. Even for people who are in the early stages of cancer, slight adjustments can reduce your risk of dying from cancer. We have identified ten of the most significant things you could do to live longer:

  1. Stop smoking or using tobacco products
  2. Keep to a healthy body weight or lose weight if you are overweight
  3. Exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day
  4. Limit your alcohol intake, or better still, don’t drink alcohol at all
  5. Eat less red meat and avoid processed meats
  6. Eat mainly a plant-based diet consisting of lots of vegetables and some fruits
  7. Protect yourself from the sun
  8. Get your recommended vaccinations
  9. Protect yourself from infections
  10. Go for your recommended screening tests.

To make these changes easier, tell your friends and family what you are doing and say you’d be grateful for their support. Use smaller plates at meal times and weigh carbs such as rice or pasta to help you stick to healthy amounts.

If you have recently stopped smoking, have a list of other activities to do when you develop cravings and try drinking water to distract you. Put aside the money you would’ve spent on cigarettes in a jar and treat yourself to something else you really want.

Lay out your gym kit or walking/running gear the night before and try to exercise in the morning while you are fresh. If you sit at a desk all day, set a reminder every couple of hours to get up and move about and use your lunchtime for a walk. Reshape your plate so that it is mainly vegetables and fruit that you eat and limit red meat intake to just once or twice a week. And if you do drink wine, you don’t have to finish the bottle, just freeze the leftovers and use it to enhance the flavor of your casseroles.

For more information about Cancer prevention see here.

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