Most everyone is or will be affected by cancer at some point in their lifetime.
Whether it is you, friends, family, or acquaintances, cancer is a disease that cannot be ignored. The risk of cancer has increased with life expectancy. As we age we become more likely to develop a cancerous growth.
Cancer is a genetic disease at its core. It results from of an accumulation of detrimental variation in the genome over a lifetime (Pimenta). What does this mean? Well, the genome refers to all the genetic material found in a person’s cells (including genes). This genetic material creates healthy new cells all throughout the body. Over a lifetime, people can accumulate “mistakes” or “damages” to the genome which affect its ability to produce healthy cells and control their growth. These “damages” then sometimes results in cancer. Therefore, lifestyle choices and diet are major key players on how these “mistakes” or “damages” happen.
While most everyone is aware of common risk factors for cancer development such as UV radiation and smoking, others exist and are more subtle. Here are three less-common risk factors/habits that favor cancer:
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is very common nowadays. Busy lifestyles and schedule demands make it hard to keep track of an eating schedule and dietary choices. Skipping meals can lead to uncomfortable stomach aches and contribute to acid reflux, mainly because the body expects food. When no food is consumed for long periods of time, the gastric acid refluxes and even damages inner tissue lining. The acidic environment created by habitually skipping meals and damaging lining increases the risk of cancer.
Sticking to a good eating schedule based on a rich diet is the best way to combat this risk.
Sedentary lifestyles, characterized by little body movement and small energy expenditure, also often pair with high-calorie diets. This is a problem because, over time, such a combination will result in increased BMI. An increased BMI, therefore, results in the potential for metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. BMI above or below the recommended standards then represents an increased risk for the development of cancer.
To avoid the adverse potential of a sedentary lifestyle, one must strive to exercise regularly to thereby sustain a healthy BMI.
Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) link to the development of cancer. Certain strains of HPV, the Human Papillomavirus, increase the risk of developing cervical cancer in women, as well as oral and throat cancers. HPV is the most common STI. However, many infected are unaware as there are often no symptoms. Many low-risk HPV strains do not associate with cancer, and vaccines for certain high-risk HPV strains exist. Yet, sadly, HPV has no cure.
The best way to avoid risk is to stay safe, educated, and proactive about sexual health and related infections.
Here at CORE, we’re here to help you both in preventative care and in rehabilitative care. If you or someone you know is undergoing cancer treatments or is curious about lowering their own risk of illness, come to CORE and talk to our front desk about which services would be best for you. CORE treats all kinds of clients with all kinds of backgrounds; most of our clients come to us to receive treatment for chronic pain due to injuries or illness. We have a new Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber available, which can help relax you and heal pain or injuries. You can also work one-on-one with a personal trainer, chiropractor, or osteopath to correct imbalances, gain strength and range of motion, and even lessen pain.
Pimenta, Kenneth J. “Cancer Incidence – Incidence and Etiology of Cancer.” Coursera, www.coursera.org/learn/cancer/lecture/lb7e5/cancer-incidence.