|

Fighting Cancer By lLiving Right

Around 1.45 million people in India are diagnosed with cancers each year, with the leading sites being breast and cervix in women and lung and mouth cavity in men.

Cancer cases in India are shooting up, not just because life expectancy has increased by more than a decade in 15 years — from 57.9 years in 1990 to 68.3 years in 2015 – but also because of tectonic shift in the way we live our lives. Tobacco and alcohol use, processed food and diets low fresh food and vegetables, air pollution, inactivity and obesity are among the primary triggers, which have made non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) like heart diseases, cancers and stroke account for 61% of all deaths in India, up from 37.9% in 1990.

Around 1.45 million people in India are diagnosed with cancers each year, with the leading sites being breast and cervix in women and lung and mouth cavity in men . By 2020, cancer cases are projected to cross 1.73 million.

“A research analysis in 2016 investigated the links between nutrition and development of 16 different types of cancers, including breast, lung, esophageal, gastric, renal and prostrate, ” said CSE’s new report, Body Burden: Lifestyle Diseases. Processed foods that contain little or no proteins, vitamins or minerals, and are high in processed salt, sugar, fats and energy (calories) push up cancer risk by up to 30% in developed countries and 20% in the developing world, said the report.

Being overweight or obese is linked with at least a dozen cancers, including cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus), esophagus (esophageal adenocarcinoma), stomach (gasttic cardia cancer, liver, kidneys, multiple myeloma, meningioma, bowels (colorectal), gallbladder, breast, overies and thyroid.

“Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of cancer of the food pipe, as it leads to acid from the stomach reaching the lower end of the food pipe, says Dr Ashish Bakshi, medical oncologist at the city’s Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital.

With obesity doubling in India between 2005 and 2015– 20.7% of women and 18.6% of men are obese, shows National Family Health Survey-4 data released earlier this year – there’s a cancer epidemic waiting to happen.

A healthy lifestyle includes having five servings (500 gm) of vegetables and fruits a day, exercising regularly for 45min every day, limiting alcohol use and quitting tobacco use. “It has been observed that a diet of fruits and vegetables not only decreases the risk to colon cancer, but also plays a protective role,” says Dr T Sundararaman, dean at the School of Health Systems Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.

“Eating processed meat such as sausages, cold cuts, salami, hot dogs, bacon, ham, smoked and dried meat raises the risk of colon, pancreatic and prostate cancers,” says Dr Mehboob Basade, medical oncologist at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre. This is due to the preservatives, and salting and fermenting agents added to it, which are indirect carcinogens.

Comments are closed