Cancer Prevention Month

18th Feb 2016
Have you been struggling to keep up with your New Year’s resolution? As it is cancer prevention month we feel it is important to share some achievable lifestyle choices to help motivate you to keep healthy in 2016.
Stop Smoking  

The use of tobacco is one of the major causes of various types of cancers including — lung, mouth, throat, pancreas and many more.  According to the NHS:   "Lung cancer is responsible for around a quarter of cancer deaths in the UK, and 90% of lung cancer cases are related to smoking." Some positive news is that stopping smoking will often greatly help to reduce cancer risk in many cases.  You can find more information about how to stop smoking here.

Healthy Diet 

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet as much as possible can help to reduce your cancer risk.  This is now seen by many as the second most important factor for reducing cancer risk after smoking.  Why not consider introducing the following ideas into your diet?

  •     Have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  •     Starchy foods including bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and rice. Wholegrain is a good option for more fibre.
  •     A good balance of proteins - some fish, meats, eggs, beans are a good option. 
  •     Limit your intake of red meat and avoid processed meat. 

Reduce Alcohol Intake

Drinking too much alcohol is a big risk factor in the development of many cancers such as mouth, throat, bowel and breast cancer. If you are a regular drinker why not consider cutting down your intake of alcohol? You can find out some simple ways here.

Exercise

By keeping up your physical activity you can help to maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can reduce your risk of cancer. The Scottish government recommends adults do at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days - why not check out some of our challenge events with the aim to keep yourself active this year.

Sun protection 

Most skin cancer cases are caused by the sun’s UV rays which penetrate the skin when exposed. In the UK the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest during the months May to September. Depending on your skin type (pale, white or light brown skin) you may be at greater risk and should consider these few ways to combat the sun damage. Make sure to use sunscreen between 10am - 4pm when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Stay in the shade when you are outdoors and cover exposed areas, it’s also important to avoid sunbeds as these can be just as damaging as the sun. 

Head over to the Sun Smart website to see what your skin type is, and to learn more about the risks of sun damage. 

Regular check ups 

See your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms or lumps.  It could be your best possible chance of catching cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. 

Beatson Cancer Charity is determined to beat cancer and with over 10,000 new cases of cancer registered in Greater Glasgow and Clyde every year, we still need your vital support to help Beatson patients and their families. Whether that’s by volunteering, fundraising, donating or even inspiring others, your efforts and generosity make a difference. To find out how you can get involved click here, or give us a call on 0141 212 0505.