The Marie Keating Foundation gives public ten tips to help cut their cancer risk in 2015
Cancer charity tells public to make “your health your choice” this year
Dublin, 5 January 2015- The Marie Keating Foundation has issued ten top tips that everyone can follow to help reduce their risk of cancer in 2015. Ranging from watching your weight to wearing adequate sun screen to reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, the lifestyle tips can help a person prevent some of the most common cancers affecting Irish men and women such as breast cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer. For more information, see www.mariekeating.ie.
The Your Health, Your Choice Cancer Prevention Tips for 2015 are:
- Scale down
A landmark study by the World Cancer Research Fund found “convincing evidence” that being overweight is a cause of six different types of cancer, including colon and breast cancer. The review found that gaining weight can also boost your risk, even if you are within a healthy weight range (BMI 20-25).
- Get moving
Exercise is not just about managing your weight. It can also help reduce your risk of cancer. What’s more, should you get cancer, if you are fit, you are much better placed to fight the disease.
- Butt out
Smoking is the single biggest cause of ill-health and death in Ireland. Aside from lung cancer, smoking can raise your risk of oral cancers, as well as kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and more. If you smoke, stop now. Help is available from the HSE QUIT service- Freephone 1800 201 203.
- Don’t go against the grain
Two or more servings of wholegrain, which you can get from breads, cereals and pastas, could cut your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 40%. In pre-menopausal women, fiber in wholegrain cereals could cut the risk of developing breast cancer in half.
- Trim the Fat
The more fat you eat, the greater your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Limit fat to 20-35% of your calorie intake.
- Don’t scrimp on sunscreen
Most people already know that sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer but do not know how much sunscreen to put on. When in the sun, you should wear the equivalent of two tablespoons worth to cover your body and a teaspoon’s worth for your face. Always reapply after swimming and do not go out in the midday sun. Never use sun beds.
- Arm yourself with nature’s anti-cancer arsenal
Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants which research suggests help to protect you against cancer. Different foods offer different protective benefits, so be sure to eat a variety of different colours. Broccoli and kale may reduce the risk of colon cancer, while tomatoes can help to protect you against cancers of the stomach and pancreas.
- Be the designated driver
Besides the fact that being the designated driver will make your weekends more affordable, evidence suggests drinking increases your risk of cancers in the bowel, esophagus and liver. Alcohol is also linked with an increase breast cancer risk for women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or with a family history of the disease.
- Be on the lookout
Cancers such as breast cancer, testicular cancer and skin cancer sometimes have symptoms that you can see and feel. Get to know your body so that you know what is normal for you. If something changes, go to your GP to get it checked out. It may be nothing, but your GP can tell you for sure.
- Say “yes” to the test
If you are invited to participate in screening programmes such as BreastCheck, CervicalCheck or BowelScreen, say “yes.” These are government-funded programmes designed to keep you healthy. They usually involve quick, often painless health checks that will see if you have abnormal cell growth and, if so, will mean doctors will catch any problems at any early stage when they are easy to solve.
Speaking about the Your Health, Your Choice Cancer Prevention Tips for 2015 was Helen Forristal, Nurse Manager, Marie Keating Foundation. She said, “The New Year is a time when many of us reflect on how we want our lives to be different, especially our health and our waistlines. The Marie Keating Foundation wants to help people make small, simple changes to their lifestyle that will help them life happier, healthier, longer lives that are hopefully free from cancer. It is never too late to make changes to your lifestyle, no matter what age or weight you are or no matter how long you have been smoking.”
Forristal added, “The Your Health, Your Choice Cancer Prevention Tips for 2015 are all available on our website alongside our free Ask the Nurse service where people can send us questions that they may have about cancer prevention, cancer symptoms and cancer treatment. We are here to help.”