Post Written by Samantha Allaker

Every year, around 360,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK — only about two or three in every 100 of these cases are linked to inherited gene faults. In fact, experts estimate that around four in 10 cancer cases could be prevented through a combination of simple lifestyle changes. That’s why, in honour of World Cancer Day on February 4th, we have put together five tips to reduce your risk of cancer.

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, so it’s important to work to maintain a healthy weight by eating a lean diet and exercising regularly. Not sure if you are a healthy weight? Use the NHS BMI calculator, which is free to use on their website. While not the most reliable method of determining whether you’re a healthy weight, BMI calculators do provide us with an easy and helpful guideline to follow.

2. Avoid tobacco

This should go without saying but we couldn’t exclude it from the list. Smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Smoking and passive smoking not only puts your lungs at risk, but tobacco has also been linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney.
If you would like to quit smoking, contact your local GP to discuss treatment options.

3. Fill your diet with cancer-busting foods

We all know that eating a balanced diet is the key to a healthy body and mind, so we won’t bore you with the basics. Instead, we are going to highlight our top 3 cancer-busting foods.

Tomatoes
Numerous studies have linked lycopene, the compound that is responsible for the vibrant red colour of tomatoes, with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Pureed, sun-dried, canned, cooked or raw — however you like your tomatoes, make sure to add them to your diet daily to reap their anti-cancer benefits.

Olive oil
Olive oil has been linked with a reduced risk of breast cancer in women and may even protect you from cancer of the digestive system. Try swapping out your other cooking oils for this anti-cancer alternative to easily incorporate olive oil into your everyday meals.

Broccoli
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a plant compound that could kill off prostate cancer cells and reduced tumour volume. In 2010, researchers conducting a test-tube study at the University of Michigan found that sulforaphane reduced the size and number of breast cancer cells by up to 75%.

4. Apply SPF daily

Protecting your skin from sun damage should not be reserved for your summer holidays. Even on extremely overcast days, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the skin and cause lasting damage to your skin cells. Apply an SPF of 15+ to any areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, every day. Not only will this reduce your risk of developing melanoma, but it will also keep your skin looking healthy and youthful for longer.

5. Reduce alcohol

Drinking alcohol causes 11,900 cases of cancer a year in the UK. It doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you drink, when you consume it, you’re increasing your risk of developing breast, mouth, throat, voice box, oesophagus, liver, colon and rectal cancer.
To lower your risk, make sure you are dinking within the new recommended low-risk guidelines (no more than 14 units a week on a regular basis). We know it can be rough sticking to this but trust us. It’s worth it. Evidence shows cutting back on the booze is one of the best things you can do for your health. It can aid weight-loss, improve the look and feel of skin, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

“Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, so it’s important to work to maintain a healthy weight”

Written by Samantha Allaker

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