How to Not Get Cancer

by on January 5, 2016

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In a survey carried out in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), 50% of people said they did not know that a bad diet can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Looked at the other way, we can say that by improving your diet you are going to reduce your chances of developing cancer.

It’s commonly thought that your family history – your DNA – has a major impact on whether or not you get cancer. In fact, the WCRF said that, at the most, only 10% of cancers could be traced back to inherited genes.

Of course, nobody wants to get cancer; and if you do get it the odds really don’t matter – it’s 100% for you.

But it is reassuring to know that we may have more control than we think we do of avoiding the “big C” – or a recurrence, for that matter.

And at this time of the New Year – perhaps it’s time to think about making a resolution that’s going to improve our diet or other lifestyle habits.

The Future Progress of Cancer

Cancer is predicted to double by 2030 according to the US Centre for Disease Control. This increase will be more rapid in developing countries and will be partly because of the shift away from traditional foods to the rubbish infiltrating their cultures from the West. We can’t be proud of that export…

But cancer will also continue to increase in the developed world. One major cause is smoking.

Dr Yusuf Hannun, Director of the Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York compares this to Russian roulette with a gun. If there’s one bullet in the gun, you have one in six chance of it being in the chamber when you pull the trigger. He likens that the chances of a person developing cancer. But if you smoke, then you put another one or two bullets in the gun in addition to the one already there.

Main Causes of Cancer

In addition to smoking, the World Health Organisation says the other major causes of cancer include:

  • Poor diet
  • Untreated infections
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Excessive radiation (from the sun and from medical scans)
  • Air pollution

Happy New Year

So make your New Year a little happier – by keeping up your good health habits, and maybe adding one or two more to make cancer a little less likely to happen to you. It’s within your control perhaps a little more than you realised.


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