Since modern history, cancer has gradually but steadily climbed the list of mankind’s deadliest killers. Cancer is so feared that being diagnosed with it is akin to a death sentence with a clock attached to it. Cancer has claimed millions of lives to date and though certain types of cancer are curable, it is extremely expensive and difficult to treat.
Even if treated, there is a fair chance of the cancer victim experiencing remission, which if it occurs, translates to certain death. Cancer causes cells to split uncontrollably. This can result in tumors, damage to the immune system, and other impairments that can be fatal.
As scary as cancer sounds, it can be dealt with preventively! Certain lifestyles, foods and factors can help your body fight against the buildup of cancer which sometimes, begins as a harmless, tiny lump.
A normal, healthy cell receives instructions to die so that the body can supplant it with a newer cell that functions better. Cancerous cells do not have the components that instruct them to stop splitting and to die. These leads to their rapid buildup in the body, consuming oxygen and nutrients that would usually nourish normal cells.
Cancerous cells can form tumors, damage the immune system and provoke other reactions that hinder the body from functioning regularly. Cancerous cells may appear in one area, then spread through the lymph nodes. These are clusters of immune cells located throughout the body.
The ultimate purpose of this article is to expose you to practical ways you can supercharge your immune system to battle cancer.
There are several types of cancer; lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, cancer of the blood, cervical cancer, prostrate cancer and so many more. In this article, you will also be exposed to possible causes of cancer as well as why cancer is more concurrent in the western world.
Causes of cancer are closely associated with the risk factors for cancer. These factors include;
– Lifestyle (Habits)
– Genetic Make Up/ History
– Environmental Factors
– Occupational Risk Factors
– Viral Factors
Causes of Cancer
The major causes of cancer will be highlighted.
1) Lifestyle/habit- related factors
- Smoking; which is the primary cause of lung cancer
- Unhealthy Dieting; the consumption of junk and canned foods with very low or no nutritional background.
- Alcohol; excessive and constant intake is a sure road to cancer of the liver.
- Sedentary Lifestyle; insufficient physical activities or lack of regular exercises.
2) Biological Factors & Genetic Composition and History
- Skin type
- Hereditary (Genetic transmission of defective genes)
- Age; middle-aged and old people are among cancer’s most affected categories
- Gender; a certain gender can be more prone to certain types of cancer. E.g Breast cancers is more prevalent among females. Cervical cancer strictly affects females while prostrate cancer is peculiar to males.
3) Occupational Risk Factors
These refers to cancer causing factors in work environments.
- Asbestos fibres
- Certain plastic chemicals (e.g. Vinyl chloride)
- Polynuclear hydrocarbons (e.g. benzopyrene)
- Tar and pitch
4) Environmental Factors
- Exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun
- Radiation from our mobile accessories, cell towers and equipment.
5) Viral Factors
These are cancer causing viruses and bacteria;
- EBV (Epstein-Barr virus, the herpes virus that causes inflammation of the throat lymphoid)
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, which causes gastritis)
- HPV (human papilloma virus, papilloma virus, which causes changes eg. Cervical cells)
- HBV, HCV (hepatitis viruses that cause hepatitis)
Reasons Cancer is More Concurrent in the West
The West doesn’t mean the western part of the world. It is a figurative term used to refer to the developed countries of the world. Though equipped with a much advanced health care system than the rest of the world, the west has been persistently plagued by cancer.
It is more occurent in these countries/regions due to certain risk factors that are more prevalent there than in other parts of the world.
1. Western Lifestyle Factors
Certain lifestyles like smoking, junk dieting and sedentary living are classic western lifestyles which are becoming more rampant in other parts of the world such as Asia and Africa. Smoking is known to be the leading cause of lung cancer. A wide array of foods in the West, particularly U.S.A are classified “Junks”. They may be more appealing and tasty but definitely less healthy. These foods coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, highly characterized by the 9-5 desk jobs result in a good percentage of this western population being overweight or obese. This is another classic risk factor for cancer.
2. Genetic Background
A good majority of cancer victims in the world are from the west and some of these cases are due to defective genes inherited from the older generation in certain families.
Some Caucasian families have a long history of cancer victims and death and as long as posterity continues, the transmission of these defective genes continue.
3. Environmental Exposure and Radiation from Equipments
Skin type is one genetic factor that should be discussed under here as it pertains to a particular environmental factor; the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
It is no news that pale or fair skin which is a hallmark trait of Caucasians is less immune to the effects of the sun than the dark skin. Some pale skins easily get burned when exposed to harsh sunlight. A lot of people tend to sunbath in the summer. Doing this without proper application of a sunscreen over time may cause skin cancer.
Also, opting for indoor tanning, using tanning beds to darken the skin through radiation is even more dangerous as it makes the skin more prone to skin cancer.
Certain industrial areas are high risk territories due to the chemical emissions in the atmosphere that may contain cancer causing compounds.
Practical Preventive Measures for Cancer
A super-charged immune system is the best weapon against the formation of cancerous cells in our body. This section will expose you to practical ways you can boost your immune system against cancer. This is simply the reverse practice of some risk factors linked to lifestyle and exposure. At least, these risk factors are avoidable.
1) Limit Sun Exposure
There are various ways to protect your skin from the sun
– wear protective clothing
– Use sunscreen if you must go out
– Stay in the shade or use an umbrella during intense sunshine.
2) Eat Healthy
– Abstain from or greatly limit your consumption of junk, canned and processed foods. Once or twice a week should be the limit. If you are advancing in age, total abstinence is recommended
– Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Also consume whole grains and lean protein.
3) Stop Smoking
Besides lung cancer, persistent smoking can result in other deadly types of cancer. It is advisable to quit while you are still healthy. Avoid tobacco, nicotine, even e-cigarettes. Anything that can invite harmful toxins into your system should be avoided.
4) Avoid Excessive Intake of Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages is one of the most consumed commodities in the world. If it’s that hard to stop totally, at least drink in moderation. A bottle a day at most. Alcohol isn’t friendly to your health. It is bad for your kidney, stomach and liver.
5) Keep Fit
Regular exercise reduces your risk of cancer. It is important to exercise frequently (at least 30 mins each day) to keep your body in shape. Avoid sedentary lifestyles.
6) Keep Your Weight Healthy
Overweight or obese people are easy targets for cancer. Keeping a healthy weight is ideal.
7) Consult Your Doctor Against Immunization
As mentioned earlier, certain types or viruses can cause cancer. It’s best to get vaccinated against the above mentioned viruses. This keeps cancer at bay.
8) Arrange for Cancer Screening Meetings
Make an arrangement with your doctor to have meetings regarding screening tests for cancer and get informed on the type of cancer you are more prone to based on the risk factors that pertain to you or your region.
You might also like this 21 Powerful Foods That Boost the Immune System Function