Friday, October 19, 2018 | ePaper

Healthy lifestyle might help to prevent cancer

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Fahmida Hashem :
World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on 4th of February all over the world to raise awareness's, clear misinformation and sigma around cancer.
Theme for world cancer day (2016-18) is “I can we can” explore how as individual or collective can fight cancer. Globally 1 in 6 deaths are due to cancer & 88 lakh people died of cancer in 2015. If it is not controlled, this condition may get worse by 2030. So, it is very necessary to get control over such situation at all the corners of the world. Cancer is predicted to be an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in Bangladesh in the next few decades.   
30 to 50 per cent cancer can be prevented. Bangladesh is a developing country that is facing many challenges, especially in the health sector. Cancer management is a priority due to the current trend of increased incidence in this.
During this event celebration people are promoted well about their healthy lifestyles, balanced diet, regular physical activity and weight management in order to reduce the risk of occurrence of cancers. The problem of cancer in Bangladesh is a particularly acute because of poverty, illiteracy, and other diseases associated with poor nutrition and lack of basic knowledge of people about health matters.
The major areas of our lifestyle and diet that influence cancer promotion. tobacco and alcohol use, Sedentary lifestyle, stress, Radiation, High levels of storage iron,  Overconsumption saturated fats and trans fats, high glycemic carbs, Cooking with high heat (grilling and deep frying),  Excess body fat, Unhealthy weight loss, Poor eating habits (e.g., no breakfast, large meals before bed, etc), Dairy food ( specially casein protein) Overworking, Sleep disruption increase the risk of cancer.  
Cancer is preventable & treatable. 33% of cancer is due to dietary and behavioral risks. The food we eat impacts cancer both directly and indirectly. Good nutrition is especially important if you have cancer because both the illness and its treatment can affect your appetite.  Intake of flax seed, especially its lignan fraction, and abundant portions of fruits and vegetables will lower cancer risk. Cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial, with broccoli being the densest source of sulforophane. Protective elements in a cancer prevention diet include selenium, folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, chlorophyll, and antioxidants such as the carotenoids (?-carotene, ?-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin). Such a diet would be conducive to preventing cancer and would favor recovery from cancer as well.  
The following foods have been shown to be strong cancer preventers- At least 1 cup of beans each day, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, carrots, cabbage, asparagus, radishes, etc.), seasonal fruit each day (e.g., berries, citrus, apples, pears, plums, peaches, kiwi, mango, etc.), nuts and seeds each day (e.g., almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, cashews, etc.) Whole grains, Fish and flaxseed, Dairy foods (yogurt, skim milk), Nuts (walnuts, almonds), Green and black tea.
Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after cancer treatment can help the patient feel better and stay stronger. Medical Nutrition therapy is used to help cancer patients keep a healthy body weight, maintain strength, keep body tissue healthy, and decrease side effects both during and after treatment.
Fight cancer with your knife and fork by eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and eating less red meat and fatty foods.
The Bangladesh Cancer Society has prepared 'A Plan for Cancer Control in Bangladesh' and formally handed it to the Government for implementation. The plan recommends: (i) primary prevention of cancers related to the use of tobacco, ie those of the lung, oral cavity, larynx, and esophagus; (ii) development of facilities for early diagnosis of cervical, oral, and breast cancers and treatment of these and other cancers in existing institutions and other centres in due course; (iii) efforts for early diagnosis through increased awareness by imparting knowledge of early signs and symptoms of cancer and by promoting self-examination of breast and mouth, and where possible down-staging with cytology; (iv) measures for relief of pain for patients with advanced cancer; (v) training programmes for specialists and technicians, and (vi) setting up a National Cancer Registry in order to monitor the status of cancer in Bangladesh.  
‘We can. I can, World Cancer Day will explore how everyone - as a collective or as individuals - can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.  n
(Fahmida Hashem is former consulting nutritionist at Labaid Hospital and Chief Consulting Nutritionist, Miss Nutritionist, Center for Nutrition & Weight Management)

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