A new study conducted by a group of researchers in Canada has discovered 24 risk factors that can cause cancer in human beings. Of all of them, Processed foods took the cake for having the highest propensity to cause cancer.
The research also discovered that lifestyle choices and environmental factors unconsciously play a key part in causing various kinds of cancers.
It is often said that every bad habit gives you a bad health.
According to the research:
“Tobacco smoking was responsible for the greatest cancer burden, accounting for an estimated 15.7 percent of all incident cancer cases (2,485 cases), followed by physical inactivity and excess body weight, which were responsible for an estimated 7.2 percent and 4.3 percent of incident cancer cases, respectively.”
These poor lifestyle choices, coupled with both natural and artificial environmental hazards are responsible for about 41% of cancer cases.
Other risk factors were discovered to be oral contraceptives, hormone therapy, environmental pollution-air/water, natural and artificial ultraviolet radiation.
Take a look at some of the risk factors that can cause cancer.
1. Processed Foods
Processed foods refer to the transformation of natural foods to other forms commonly with the help of chemicals. Industrialization did not just give us machines but also interfered with the quality of our foods.
According to a Hong Kong dietitian, Sally Shi-Po Poon, processed foods refer to foods that have been altered from its natural state in some way, for convenience’s sake.
Most processed foods come in contact with toxic chemicals and ingredients. For preservation, excess sugar and sodium are additionally used.
Altogether, the food loses its natural value and often causes digestive problems and worsens intestinal infections.
Foods can be either minimally processed or other wise.
Likewise, dietitian Vin Ip said:
“Minimally processed foods are almost identical to unprocessed foods and are therefore acceptable to include in our diet.”
Poon also agrees that not all processed foods are unhealthy. For instance, he says milk gets processed via pasteurization in order to make the food healthy by removing harmful bacteria before consumption.
But with cancer as the subject matter, the risk factor points to heavily processed foods. The new study says that heavily processed foods like sausages and processed meat contain high nitrites, nitrates and sodium which can lead to cancer.
“Eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increases one’s risk of Colorectal cancer by 18 percent. That’s the equivalent of about four strips of bacon or one hot dog,”
See Also: Smoking: This Is What Happens To Your Body Before And After You Quit Smoking
Chronic infections have always been a risk factor for cancerous complications.
The researchers pointed out such infections as Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human papillomavirus (HPV), Helicobacter pylori as red flags.
In the case of HPV infections, the lesions, depending on the part of the body, can increase the risk of cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, mouth, or throat cancers.
Nearly all cervical cancer is due to HPV with two types, HPV16 and HPV18, accounting for 70% of cases (Wikipedia).
Hepatitis B and C viruses also causes liver cancer.
3. Tobacco (Smoking)
Both active and passive smokers stand the risk of having a type of lung cancers. Smoking is so dangerous that about 600,000 deaths a year are said to be caused by secondhand smokers (non-smokers who inhale cigarette smoke).
Most lung cancers were caused by the habit of smoking. Smoking exposes the human system to heart diseases, stroke, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other health complications.
Tobacco hardly goes without alcoholism. Both are partners in crime.
See Also: World Kidney Day: This Is How You Can Protect Your Kidneys
4. Poor Diet
Your diet becomes poor when it misses the “healthy” mark. What makes our diet unhealthy is when there is a nutritional imbalance in the food we eat.
The Canadian research stressed of these bad diet habits:
- Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption
- Inadequate fiber intake
- Excess red and processed meat consumption
- Salt consumption
- Inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake
- Excess fat intake (can cause lung cancer in smokers)
Did you know that Charred and barbecued meats can increase the risks of pancreatic and breast cancers?
5. Overweight (Lack Of Physical Exercises)
Being overweight and a zero fan of physical exercises is not a good combination.
Obesity and the high rate of sedentary lifestyle is the leading cause of cancers in the United States. The sedentary lifestyle often makes room for junk/processed foods.
Adequate physical activity can help to fight obesity, diseases/health complications, boost your energy and immune system; and generally keeps you fit.
Currently there are health campaigns discouraging sitting for too long. New findings have it that any activity that keeps you from sitting too much lowers cancer risks.
Regular exercises can help improve your heart and lung condition.
NOTE: Your doctor may be consulted before starting some exercise routines, especially for patients with pre-existing health conditions.
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