“Preventing Cancer: Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle and Diet”

2023-05-30 02:17:03

[김용의 헬스앤]

Burnt food and processed meat can increase the risk of colorectal and stomach cancer. Carcinogens such as heterocyclic amine and benzopyrene, which are produced at the burn site, cause cancer by inducing mutations in normal cells. [사진=게티이미지뱅크]

According to the National Cancer Registry Statistics (announced last December), 247,952 new cancer patients occurred in 2020 alone. Gender-In terms of cancer type, females have the most patients (excluding thyroid cancer), in order of breast cancer (24,806), colon cancer (11,392), and stomach cancer (8793). For men, lung cancer (19,657), stomach cancer (17,869), prostate cancer (16,815), and colorectal cancer (16,485) are in order. These cancers are classified as major cancers with 10,000 to 20,000 new patients every year.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO), 30% of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, 30% by food, and 10-25% by chronic infection. In addition, occupation, genetics, drinking, hormones, radiation, and environmental pollution each have an effect of 1 to 5%. However, there are many cancer patients who struggle with the disease without knowing the cause of the disease. Not all cancers are due to bad lifestyle habits. Cancer is associated with many complex causes.

Cancer prevention methods poured out in various health information are ‘helpful’ to some extent, but do not prevent 100%. Still, changing smoking, drinking, infection, and wrong eating habits into a healthy lifestyle is a basic cancer prevention method that can be done in everyday life. Looking at the major causes of cancer, food, smoking, drinking, and lack of exercise are not insignificant.

Although the cause of breast cancer has not yet been clearly identified, many risk factors are known. Risk factors are factors that do not necessarily cause cancer, but relatively increase the probability of cancer. According to the National Cancer Information Center, about 5 to 10% of genetic factors work. The risk of breast cancer is two to three times higher if either mother or sister has breast cancer. If both the mother and sister have breast cancer, the risk increases up to 12-fold.

Alcohol (alcohol) is a very important breast cancer risk factor. For every 10g increase in alcohol intake, the risk of breast cancer increases by 9-11%. In particular, there is a study that the risk of breast cancer increases by 30% if a woman who has gone through menopause drinks one drink a day. Alcohol increases blood levels of female hormones (such as estrogen) and interferes with the absorption of folic acid. Because folic acid is involved in the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acids, it plays a key role in cell division and growth and hemoglobin formation.

Colorectal cancer and gastric cancer are cancers that are highly food-related and have many known causes. Just 30 years ago, colonoscopy specialists were rare in Korea. Colorectal cancer has been increasing exponentially for several years. The main reason is the increase in the number of people who eat animal fat-saturated fat foods, pork-red meat such as beef, and meat products such as sausages, ham, and bacon. One of the causes is neglecting the intake of vegetables and fruits that are high in dietary fiber (fiber), which is good for intestinal health. My grandmother’s generation, who ate a lot of vegetable side dishes, had fewer colon cancers.

Burnt food and processed meat can cause both colon and stomach cancer. Carcinogens such as heterocyclic amine and benzopyrene, which are produced at the burn site, cause cancer by inducing mutations in normal cells. Refrain from eating burnt food, and when cooking meat or animal products, it is better to boil or boil rather than grill. Eating a lot of salty food damages the stomach wall and creates nitrate compounds, increasing the risk of exposure to carcinogens and stomach cancer by up to 7 times.

Vegetables and fruits have a lot of dietary fiber and antioxidants, so they inhibit the action of carcinogens and prevent damage to cells and DNA. It can be consumed through supplements, but eating fresh vegetables-fruits has a greater cancer prevention effect. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and radish, which are rich in sulforafen among phytochemicals, reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Garlic, onion, leek, green onion, etc., which have a lot of allyl compounds, help prevent stomach cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer.

Soybeans, tofu, soybean paste, cheonggukjang, and bean sprouts contain many isoflavones that help prevent breast cancer, reduce blood cholesterol levels, and prevent osteoporosis. Flaxseed, seaweed, and lignans, which are abundant in dried legumes, are also effective in preventing breast cancer. Phenol compounds (polyphenols), which are found in strawberries, red grapes, kiwi, tomatoes, and brown rice, also suppress the activity of carcinogens.

According to the cancer incidence statistics (2020) of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in December last year, the probability of getting cancer if a person in Korea survives to the age of 83.5, which is the life expectancy, was 36.9%. This is an era where one in three people around you will get cancer. If you get cancer, you can leave huge aftereffects such as tremendous pain and stomach-mastectomy. It costs a lot of money to use a new drug that is not covered by health insurance because it was discovered late. As stated by the WHO, ⅓ of cancers are preventable. If you take care of your body through smoking cessation, drinking moderation, careful diet, and exercise, you can escape from the painful battle with cancer.

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