Health

February 4th: World Cancer Day

February 4th, 2020 is World Cancer Day. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone – young, old, male, female, rich or poor. The disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Up to 50% of cancers can be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices like eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and avoiding smoking. However, it’s not always possible to prevent cancer completely but improving your general health is never a bad thing.

Things you can do to lower your risk

·         Give up smoking

·         Try to follow a healthy, balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight

·         Limit your alcohol intake to less than 14 units per week

·         Try to stay physically active on a regular basis

·         If you like the sun, protect your skin and eyes with sunscreen and sunglasses

·         Always participate in cancer screening programmes if you’re invited

Why drinking water is good for you

Switching certain drinks for water can help to improve your health. For example, alcohol is associated with certain cancers like liver, bowel, breast and oesophageal. The more you drink, the higher your risk of cancer.

The current guidelines form the UK Chief Medical Officer is to drink less than 14 units per week. Here are the units some popular drinks contain:

·         A small glass of wine (red, white or rose) – 1.5 units

·         Pint of high strength lager, beer, cider 5.2% – 3 units

·         275ml alcopop – 1.5 units

·         Single 25ml shot of spirit – 1 unit

·         One 750ml of 13.5% – 10 units

We know that you may not want to drink water all the time. Perhaps, you like a nice hot drink in the morning. If you do, tea has some anticancer properties. It contains natural chemicals called polyphenols and these are believed to help prevent cancer.

But if you’re looking to quench your thirst, water really is the best drink for your body. Plus, you can jazz it up with a slice of lemon, if you find the taste boring!

Summary

Cancer can affect all of us whether it’s physically or emotionally but a healthy lifestyle can help to reduce your risk. World Cancer Day falls on February 4th, 2020 and aims to unite the whole world in the fight against this devastating condition. In 2018 alone, 18 million people across the world were diagnosed with cancer and today, thanks to continuing research and donations half of people in the UK survive cancer for at least 10 years.

Sources
National Health Service. (2018). Alcohol Units: Alcohol Support. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/calculating-alcohol-units/
Yang, C, S et al. (2009). Antioxidative and Anti0Carcinogenic Activities of Tea Polyphenols. Arch Toxicol: 83(1), pp 11-21.

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