The World Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Research UK and The National Institute of Health of the USA all estimate, based on the available scientific data, that about 50% of cancers could be preventable by lifestyle factors. As more research is published, the benefits of other lifestyle factors or choices may well increase this figure.
In addition to sensible medical precautions (presenting to the doctor with concerning symptoms, getting vaccinated for HPV, attending screening programmes), this section highlights evidence based practical lifestyle guidance which has been shown to help: Reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic inflammatory related diseases; Reduce side effects of cancer treatments and symptoms of cancer; Speed up recovery after cancer treatments; Reduce the risk of relapse after initial treatments and improve the chance of a long healthy life:
- Exercise – increase daily moderate to strenuous levels, aiming for 3-5 hours a week and avoid long periods of sedentary behaviour …read more
- Processed sugar – try to eliminate intake, especially on an empty stomach, aim for a low glycaemic index diet ...read more
- Polyphenols – maintain a high intake in healthy foods and boost with a polyphenol supplement if necessary …read more
- Smoking – try to stop immediately …tips to quit
- Carcinogenic foods – avoid smoked foods, acrylamides in baked foods and nitrosamines in cured meats …read more
- Carcinogenic xenoestrogens – reduce exposure to plastic, pollution and pesticides …read more
- Alcohol – avoid in excess, have days off and go for quality not quantity …tips
- Meat – reduce red meat or stop cheap processed meat intake, avoid burned, grilled or barbecued meats >>
- Fats and oils – eat a profile of good fats and avoid bad fats …read more
- Essential minerals – ensure sufficient intake but avoid extra pills unless there is a know deficiency …read more
- Vitamins – ensure sufficient intake but avoid extra pills unless there is a know deficiency ..read more
- Sunlight & Vitamin D – take extra pills in the Winter, try to get regular sun without burning …read more
- Dietary fibre – Increase intake especially from flaxseeds, quinoa, whole grains and wild rice …more
- Plant proteins – increase legumes, beans and pumpkin and other seeds rich in plant proteins …healthy dishes with legumes
- Body mass – try to maintain a healthy weight, not too thin and loose weight if obese ..read more
- Overnight fasting – aim for 13 hours between your evening meal and breakfast …more
- Nuts – eat a handful of mixed nuts every day – healthy dishes with nuts
- Gut bacteria – try to maintain a healthy gut with natural foods and probiotics if necessary …what are probiotics
- Sleep – try to adopted good sleep hygiene habits to enhance a regular circadian rhythm …read more
- Mood – Look after your thought processes and psychological health .…read more
Does lifestyle matter after cancer?
1. Influencing cancer outcomes:
Although patients with established cancer have already sustained the initial DNA damage in order to mutate from benign to malignant cells, the progress from an early indolent cancer to an aggressive form can be influences by on-going nutritional and lifestyle habits. Further DNA damage encourages the cancer to developed mechanism to hide from the body’s immunity or become resistant to medical treatments. There is strong evidence that a healthy lifestyle can also have an influence on the direct biological processes which encourage cancer cells to:
- Grow faster (proliferate)
- Not die when they have reached the end of their life cycle (apoptosis)
- Stimulate blood vessels to feed the rapidly growing cells (angiogenesis)
- Loose their stickiness to the site of origin (loss of adhesion)
- Grow into adjacent organs (invasion)
- Spread through the body (metastasise).
2. Reduce risks of side effects and aide recovery:
Based on the available published evidence the following self help, lifestyle strategies can help reduce or help many of the side effects of cancer treatments and reduce the risk of other chronic disorders:
Our blog is regularly updated with lifestyle tips and healthy recipes from our resident chefs. It explains why the foods have anti-cancer and other health benefits and contains a short film showing how to make the meal
Our Monthly Newsletter – summarises trials and reports from around the World reporting advances in evidence based lifestyle strategies – you can sign on in the box below.
A general health advice website which provided lifestyle tips to help you avoid for chronic disorders and help you keep a healthy body and mind.. It aims to fill the gap between early diagnosis of common conditions such as high BP, early diabetes and heart disease and need to medical interventions ..more
When to consider a lifestyle initiative?
Shortly after their diagnosis, patients and their relatives are confronted by a sudden commotion activity usually traveling to the hospital for blood tests, x-rays, scan, biopsies, and treatments. This causes enormous upheaval to the daily routine both socially and at the work place. Most of your time is taken up adjusting to their new diagnosis, with coping with the side effects of therapy and the difficulties of remembering, where and when they have to be and what to do when they get there! Forcing yourself into a strategy which you cannot do for practical or physical reasons would be inappropriate or at worse may project a feeling of guilt which is counter productive. Depending on the individual circumstances, at an early point in the treatment pathway, however, the subject could be introduced gradually and sensitively. The timing is paramount, as is ability of the clinician to assess the patient’s receptiveness to considering lifestyle issues at each stage. Too early and the anxieties of the circumstances will be confounded, too late and the benefits of lifestyle will be overlooked.