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Steps to be taken for Cancer Free Life

Friday, August 19, 2005

Making a decision never to smoke – or to give up – is your best-ever move against lethal cancer. People who don't smoke or chew tobacco have less risk of cancer in the lungs, gullet, larynx, mouth, bladder, kidney, pancreas or stomach.

Every cigarette repays your investment with over 60 substances that cause cancer. The tar in smoke makes a sticky, brown deposit throughout your airways, which traps carcinogens around healthy cells. If it's your own cigarette, there is a higher concentration – but second hand smoke is still smoke. Every year, thousands of passive smokers develop lung cancer. Chewing tobacco carries less risk to lungs, but can stimulate tumours in the mouth, tongue and throat.

Food fashions change, but there is a consensus: less fat, more fruit and veg, cooked minimally. More whole grains and beans, and make your meal colourful with green, orange, red, yellow and purple foods. Cabbage, sprouts, and broccoli – along with beans - help prevent cancers of the stomach and colon. Although moderate alcohol consumption may limit heart disease, it increases the risk of certain cancers, so stick to one unit or less per day. Boost intake of anti-oxidants, e.g. In Green tea, Cranberry juice, Garlic and other health-giving nutrients.

One in three cancers are related to obesity (NOT mild overweight). High proportions of body fat are linked to reproductive cancers: prostate, uterus, ovaries, breast. Cancers of the large bowel and rectum are also more likely. On the other hand, people who enjoy exercise, even if overweight, are less at risk for certain cancers, so keep moving!

The sun's rays are dangerous. Although most skin cancers are superficial, some (melanomas) are killers. Skin cancer is more likely after one or more episodes of peeling sunburn. “Between ten and three, stay under a tree” - or better, inside. A shady hat protects scalp, face, neck and ears, all vulnerable areas – and helps keep your skin young. NEVER, never use a sunbed – your dermatologist will tell you why not!

Early cancer doesn't announce itself, it must be found. If you know you've got sun damage, see a dermatologist annually. Young men: check testes for unusual lumps and bumps. Older men need prostate screening, it's unpleasant but invaluable. Other screening includes smears, breast self examination, mammograms for older women or those at particular risk; and checks of the mouth and rectum. Dental Hygienists are well placed to check your mouth for suspicious lesions: that's extra value! Report suspicious changes in any body system to your doctor.

Cancer research has had many successes. Drugs now available can decrease breast cancer by 50% in high risk women, and others are being tested. Similar research is active with Prostate cancer; a vaccine for cervical cancer is imminent, and immunotherapy is another promising field. Ordinary aspirin and ibuprofen, taken regularly, may help prevent breast, colon or oesophageal cancers. At the same time, reducing irritants and pollutants (especially in food or the air we breathe) can help, and the more aware we are, the better – as in the recent Sudan Red scare which raised awareness of cheap red-coloured spices and reminded us to check ingredients. We need a cleaner, healthier environment both inside and out - and sometimes we must demand it.

Summary: Cancer is mostly a lifestyle disease, and although we may never be able to completely prevent it, there is much we can do to protect ourselves. Even the smallest positive change in any of the above areas is a change worth making and reduces our risk.

Mesothelioma, Asbestos and Lung Cancer

Dictionary meaning: A benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumor affecting the lining of the chest or abdomen. Exposure to asbestos particles in the air increases the risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer affecting the abdominal cavity, chest cavity, and the region surrounding the heart. Due to its uncommon nature, mesothelioma is typically difficult to diagnose and treat. It has been connected with exposure to asbestos, a material formerly present in many work environments. Only about 3,000 individuals are diagnosed annually.

Mesothelioma is a life-threatening disease and cannot be left untreated. The sooner it is diagnosed the better a patient's chances are of fighting this deadly cancer. Please contact a qualified physician immediately if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

For more information check out:

Mesothelioma: Questions and Answers from National Cancer Institute

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation



Mesothelioma - X-ray - Images - PET

The first breakthrough that has given mesothelioma sufferers hope is the approval of a new treatment called Alimta...

Mesothelioma articles from Cancerhelp.org.uk

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