Cancer is one of the most serious and deadliest diseases there is. Not many people can overcome it, and the ones who do will still need to take care of themselves and do regular checkups to see if the disease comes back.
That being said, we’re all at risk of getting cancer. Just in 2020, the total number of new cancer cases was over 1,806,590, and the cancer death rate is that of 158.3 per 100,000 men and women per year.
If you want to reduce your cancer risk, you need to take the necessary precautions. Here are eight things you need to avoid to reduce your risk of cancer.
8. Smoking Causes Cancer (Shocking, right?)
You’ve probably heard that smoking is extremely harmful to your health for your entire life, but you might not know that passive smoking can be just as harmful, if not more dangerous, than normal smoking.
Passive smoking, also known as secondhand smoking, occurs when you breathe in the smoke from a cigar or cigarette. The smoke of a cigarette produces about 5000 chemicals, and at least 70 of them are cancer-causing, meaning they damage the DNA, which will produce cancerous cells.
The good news is that, as long as you aren’t constantly breathing the smoke, you’ll be safe. At least, safer than regular smokers and secondhand smokers.
What’s even more surprising is that smoking can cause cancer in other parts of your body, including the mouth, throat, digestive tract, liver, pancreas, respiratory tract, kidneys, urinary bladder, and even cervix.
7. Hot Beverages Can Also Cause Cancer
Believe it or not, it’s said that very hot beverages can cause cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, also known as IARC, determined that drinking very hot beverages of a temperature above 65 degrees Celsius or about 149 degrees Fahrenheit can be carcinogenic. Meaning, they can cause cancer.
Fear not, my coffee lovers. The IARC also mentioned that beverages such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate aren’t part of that list. At least in the US, these beverages are usually drunk at temperatures lower than 149 degrees. So you can keep drinking your coffee in peace.
6. Processed Foods Are Also on the List
Eating hot dogs at the movies isn’t a big deal, right? How about eating a bit of junk food a few days during the week? While you might think this will only make you gain a bit of extra weight, eating processed foods can also cause cancer.
In case your wondering why, when food is processed, they need to add a bunch of chemicals in order to preserve the food. These chemicals, such as nitrates, can be harmful to your cells, turning them into cancer cells.
Not only that, but eating a lot of red meat is also bad for you. Red meat has some dangerous chemicals and components, such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic amines (PCAs). These components can be harmful to your body and can even cause bowel cancer.
5. Living a Sedentary Lifestyle Is Also Dangerous
Not only will living a sedentary lifestyle affect your health and your body in many different ways, but it can also help cause cancer. The National Cancer Institute says that a sedentary lifestyle can cause not only obesity and diabetes, but is also related to cancer.
Their research found that exercise causes an increase in oxygen intake and blood circulation, which helps the body get rid of harmful chemicals.
If you’re like most of us and you love spending sitting down binge-watching Netflix shows or checking social media, you’re only putting yourself at risk. It’s recommended that you work out on a daily basis. Not only will you prevent cancer, but you’ll also become healthier overall.
4. Consuming a Lot of Alcohol Can Also Cause Cancer
You don’t have to worry about this if you’re a social drinker or have a few drinks every now and then, but if you’re consuming alcohol daily, you have a higher chance of getting cancer.
When you consume alcohol, your body metabolizes it and turns it into acetaldehyde. This component is one of the main reasons for the production of cancerous cells in your body. It damages the cells and impairs the DNA damage repair mechanism, causing uncontrolled cell division.
That’s the reason why alcohol can cause cancer in your mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, large intestine, and breasts.
3. Consuming Too Much Sugar
Although sugar is a necessary part of many types of food and drinks, it’s also extremely dangerous for you. Consuming foods with too much sugar increases the risk of getting cancer. And that’s without mentioning other health problems like obesity and diabetes.
Eating too much sugar in your food will put your body and organs under extra stress. This causes your organs not to work as they should and increases your chances of cancer.
2. Practicing Unsafe Sex
By now, you should know that unsafe sex can lead to many different types of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, including gonorrhea, HIV, and herpes. But on top of all that, having sexual relationships without protection can lead to cancer as well.
To be more specific, oral sex can cause cancer of the pharynx and neck. This cancer-causing agent is known as human papillomavirus, or HPV. Granted, the chances of getting cancer this way are lower than contracting other STDs. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take the necessary precautions.
1. Excessive Exposure to UV Light
If you love spending all day at the beach, you need to take a lot of precautions. Being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) lights for a long time can be risky and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about overexposure to UV lights. The sun is the best vitamin D source, and it can help your skin, bones, and muscles. You can get sun and get tanned, but you need to put on sunscreen to protect yourself. Likewise, while we’re mostly talking about the sun since it’s the most common scenario, any object that produces a great amount of UV light is dangerous. For instance, tanning beds will also cause the same risk.