7 TIPS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR CANCER RISK
GET THE FACTS RIGHT!
In Ghana, many people believe that getting cancer is purely due to family links (genes), fate and a spiritual curse or even sometimes being wealthy (rich man's disease) You will be surprised that often times this notion is supported by both the educated and uneducated alike This however is incorrect, to say the least Many years of scientific research informs us that our risk of getting cancer actually depends on a combination of some genes, our environment and some aspects of our lifestyle, which we can control Simple lifestyle modifications can significantly lower your risk of getting cancer You should know that, there is no such thing as a guarantee against cancer, but a healthier lifestyle will reduce your risk and increase your chances of beating the disease if you do get it The added benefit of these simple modifications to your lifestyle will also reduce your risk of getting other serious diseases and boost your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Screening for certain cancers helps to detect and deal with the disease early when it is very small and easier to treat successfully. With cervical cancer, screening tests can even prevent cancer from developing in the first place.
• Breast, cervical and prostate cancer screenings are available here in Ghana. Please check with your healthcare professional or contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and advice.
Being overweight is a risk factor for many cancers including breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. It is encouraging to know that physical activity counts. It has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers.
The following must be adopted as a new lifestyle:
• Control your food portion sizes. Eat with a small plate and stop eating when you are full.
• Plan your meals and keep to a routine (eat at the same time each day)
• Choose healthy dietary options
• Aim to get at least 150mins of moderate physical activity each week. A good example is brisk walking
• Children are encouraged to get at least 1 hour moderate physical activity each day
For professional advice on keeping a healthy weight contact (email@example.com) for more information and advice.
Eating a healthy, balanced meal is linked with a lower risk of getting certain cancers. A simple but critical guide is to eat less processed foods, red meat and more fruits, vegetables as well as fibre. Remember, do not substitute your water for juices or fizzy drinks. Water is LIFE as the saying goes!
The following can be added to your diet plan:
• A healthy balanced diet at every meal. Remember to have at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
• Boost your fibre intake by adding beans and pulses to meals. Eat more whole grains –including whole grain bread and pasta.
• Avoid processed meals and limit takeaways to occasions.
• Swap processed red meat, canned or bottled meat and fish to fresh chicken and fish ( reduce intake of frozen fish and poultry where possible).
For more information and professional advice on eating a healthy diet contact (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To avoid smoking is one the most important health decisions one can make. Smoking is known to be linked to certain cancers like lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Second hand smoke might also increase your risk of getting lung cancer.
If you need help to stop smoking, contact your health care professional for support. You can also contact email@example.com for information and support.
Ghana has now become a country thriving in its traditional and locally made alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol is known to increase your risk for certain kinds of cancer, including breast, mouth, throat, voice box, oesophagus, liver, colon and rectal cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk. Limit your alcohol intake drastically to save your health. You can contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and support.
Protect yourself against certain viruses and prevent cancer as well.
• Hepatitis B. - Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer.
• Human papillomavirus (HPV). - HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as some cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls aged 11 years in Ghana.
You can contact (email@example.com) for more information and advice.
You can prevent some cancers by avoiding some acquired infections.
• Practice safe sex – Limit your sexual partners and use condoms during sex.
The more sexual partners who have the greater your chances of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, HPV and Hep B infections. People who acquire such infections have a higher risk of developing cancers of the lung, anus and liver. Cancer of the cervix, throat, mouth and penis can be associated with HPV infections.
• Don’t share needles and sharp objects – infected persons can pass on HIV or AIDs, Hepatitis B and C this way. This can be common among drug users. Be aware of some risk of acquiring such infections from grooming salons (both male and female), clinical settings, and traditional birth and health centres.
Preventing cancer is better and cheaper than treating or curing it.