It’s like every new day, a new celebrity (read Sujata Kumar or Sonali Bendre or Irrfan Khan) is getting diagnosed with cancer.
Everyone can’t help but wonder that when celebs are not being spared, how will a common man with sparse resources survive?
celebrities usually have a very active lifestyle, which involves exercise and being monitored by dietitians and doctors. Chaucer wrote, “If gold rusts what shall iron do”. Similarly, if cancer can silently eclipse their lives, how will a commoner survive?
Many Indian celebs have fought cancer, such as Manisha Koirala, Lisa Ray, Vinod Khanna, Anurag Basu and Nargis Dutt. Some survived, some succumbed. However, the panic button has been pressed only lately as celebrity diagnoses of cancer are getting only higher.
Why celebs may be more predisposed than you are?
It’s a commonplace knowledge that though celebrities are monitored by experts frequently, what also is true is that they have lifestyles that involve smoking, drinking and drug abuse. In a bid to maintain their bodies as super sleek, they may often neglect eating right. They have hard shifts, travel, and a lifestyle that’s completely upside down. So, what at first may seem improbable is actually not.
Why you need to pay attention
India is facing a growing burden of cancer with each passing year. As per The Lancet, 1 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in the population of 1.2 billion, which has crossed 1.3 billion now. The number of cancer deaths is the highest in India, China, and the US.
Now, when cancer is so rampant, fear is inevitable. Though many trials are being conducted to find a successful cure for cancer, a compelling research is yet to occur. Things like nanoparticle therapy and a Russian doctor claiming to pull toenails as the cancer cure, new premises are coming each day, while many promising drugs are awaiting approval by the government.
What you can do
If you believe that cancer is a man-made disease, you are wrong. Cancer has probably existed since the human race has. In fact, one of the species of dinosaurs died of blood vessel tumors. Also, a 1.7 million-year-old toe was discovered in 2016 in South Africa and it had bone cancer.
The above being said the risk of cancer is definitely getting aggravated due to certain lifestyle habits that are becoming more common today. “Being overweight or obese is the second-biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK. Every year, around 22,800 cases of cancer are caused by being overweight or obese. Despite this, only 15% of people [are] aware of the link,” says Emma Shields, Cancer Research UK.
Besides obesity, leading a sedentary lifestyle that lacks exercise and consumption of alcohol are risk factors that contribute to cancer.
If you want to insure yourself against cancer, there’s no full-proof way that has been discovered so far. There are certain measures that you can take and they can help you reduce your risk substantially and will help you either with prevention or with early intervention in case of diagnosis.
As per recommendations are given by the World Cancer Research Fund, there is strong evidence to suggest that not smoking and avoiding sun exposure can reduce one’s cancer risk.
As per the journal Cancer Research, one must have a “synergistic contribution” of a healthy diet. This means that no single dietary recommendation is as helpful as an entire diet. Besides a healthy diet, one should also focus on physical activity. For example, the antioxidants from fruits can fight the carcinogenicity of processed meats and exercise can help control high blood pressure, a condition linked to kidney, lung and bowel cancer. Ideally, one must exercise for at least 150 minutes a week if he indulges in moderate activity.
Say no to Tobacco
Besides the above, you must also avoid tobacco in any form. You should also get yourself immunized against hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV). You also must practice safe sex and should never share needles with anyone.
Finally, and most importantly, self-examine and get yourself screened. Ask your doctor about an entire body health checkup that you need and how frequently. The regular examination is the best measure one can take against cancer.