Cancer is a nasty disease and every now and then leads to
death. Nigeria is no different, according to the WHO, about 30 Nigerians die
every hour from the disease, and by the time we reach then end of the year,
about 80,000 people who have passed away as a result of having cancer. What’s
even more alarming is that experts believe the cases of cancer in Nigeria is
seriously under reported and expect the number of cases to increase in the
The truth is that about a third of cancer cases are
preventable and it is possible to live a cancer free life. To help you achieve,
here are steps you can take reduce your chances of developing cancer.
1. Stop taking sugary
drinks: Consumption of sugary drinks have not been considered risk factors
for developing diabetes and being overweight, they can also cause cancer. Consumption
of the drinks can significantly increase your risk of developing cancer as they
can lead to weight gain.
2. Become more
active: Sitting around all day increases your chances of developing colon
and endometrial cancer. If you are constantly tied to your desk while at work,
or wrapped up on the couch where at home, it is time to stand and start that
fight against cancer. By walking around for a few minutes every hour, you can
significantly cut down your risks.
3. Aim for a healthy
weight: Being overweight increases your chances of
developing cancer, so developing a target of keeping your BMI between 20 to 25.
4. Have a healthy
diet: Eat more vegetables and fruits, in addition to high fiber foods, as
these reduce your chances of developing colon cancer. Also, try cutting back on
the amount of red meat you eat. While red mat (beef and goat meat) are tasty,
over-indulging in them increases your cancer risks. Go for the leaner versions
like chicken and fish, especially if you plan on grilling your meat.
5. Avoid alcohol: Throat
and mouth cancers can be caused by excessive drinking of alcohol. By cutting back
on the amount you drink, you also reduce your risks of developing those
6. Cut back on salt:
As Nigerians, we love salt in almost everything we eat. Apart from increasing
our risks of developing hypertension, it also increase our risk of cancer.
Reducing our salt intake, avoiding p foods as much as possible as they usually have
high salt content, plus watching out for foods such as bread and margarine, we
will do ourselves a big favour.
7. Breast feed your
baby: Mothers, breastfeeding is not only good for the baby, it is also good
for you as it offers some protection against breast cancer.
8. Stop tobacco use: Tobacco
is probably one of the biggest culprits of preventable cancers worldwide. It
associated with cancer has been well documented. In order to reduce your reduce
your risk, don’t light up or be around anyone who does.
9. Get your daily
dose of vitamin D: That’s right, getting out in the sun for just about 15
minutes a day can help your body combat cancer. The sun is best source of
10. Reduce your
exposure to light at night: Sounds weird but it has been shown that people
who stay in dark rooms at night are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer.
Cancer often starts over silently and usually progresses
over a long period. However if we have an active lifestyle, eat healthily and
watch what we consume, we can ensure that we avoid all those cancers that are
at least preventable.