Home Lifestyle Lifestyle Choices That May Put You At Risk Of Developing Cancer

Lifestyle Choices That May Put You At Risk Of Developing Cancer

Lifestyle Choices That May Put You At Risk Of Developing Cancer


In May this year, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) quoted that the number of patients suffering from Cancer is projected to reach 29.8 million by 2025 from 26.7 million in 2021. Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare recently highlighted that the burden of cancer deaths in India is increasing.

The alarming rate at which people are getting affected by cancer can be attributed to a lot of factors, one of which is our lifestyle. To be specific, our lifestyle exposes us to certain carcinogens which may later prove to be fatal.

How is cancer caused?

Cancer is caused by the mutation (changes) in certain genes. This mutation causes abnormal cells to develop and grow uncontrollably. This uncontrollable cell growth can result in the development of cancerous tumours or damage the existing healthy cells in the body.

“Cancer can develop in any part of our body. Moreover, the cancerous cells can grow and infect the surrounding tissues. Apart from the cancers of the blood, most cancers can end up becoming malignant (the ones that spreads to different parts of the body). While mutation of genes can be triggered due to various factors, including infectious agents, radiation, or chemicals, our lifestyle also plays a major role in it,” says Dr Praveen Kumar Garg, Surgical Oncologist, Apollo 24/7.

Risk factors

A lot of times cancer develops without any apparent reason. However, some cancers, like oral or oesophageal cancer, can be attributed to the kind of lifestyle we lead, our occupational, and dietary patterns. There are a lot of carcinogens that we come in contact with day in and day out.

Quitting tobacco use (both smokable and chewable) and alcohol consumption can instantly reduce our chances of cancer. Those working in the mining and asbestos industry also have a higher possibility of developing cancer.

To make matters worse, preservatives, especially in canned non-vegetarian food items are also considered carcinogens. “Non-veg food items such as chicken burgers, salamis, sausages, and bacon contain preservatives that have been classified as carcinogens by the WHO,” adds Dr Garg

How can we safeguard ourselves from cancer?

One should immediately quit smoking and alcohol, or never start if they haven’t already, to reduce their chances of developing cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing safe sex, and not sharing needles are also a few factors that can reduce one’s chances of developing cancers.

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