Causes of cancer – what can you control?

A lot of buzz in the media this morning about the controllable causes of cancer, following information from a Cancer Research-funded review, led by Professor Max Parkin, that has found commonality between various cancer types: the causes of which primarily include smoking, obesity and a lack of fruit and veg. All of which we can, to some degree, control.

Handily, Cancer Research have produced this great info-graphic to drive home the point:

cancer causes from Cancer Research

A spokesperson on BBC breakfast this morning made a salient point that struck me. We are, sadly, bombarded now with statistics and stories about various cancer experiences – largely because (and here is that big statistic), at least 1 in 4 of us will suffer from some kind of cancer at a point in our lives. His point was that possibly because of this, our instinct is to consider fate and chance as more significant factors than anything within our control. The conclusions of this research suggests how wrong we are.

Now I’m not for one moment suggesting that all cancer sufferers can jump on a treadmill and eat their way healthy – my own mother’s grueling (though successful) experiences of radiation treatment are testament to that. But these words rang true. Just because we might be that 1 in 4, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do everything in our powers to give ourselves the best chance to be one of the other three. And by doing so, maybe we can carve out a whole new set of statistics for the next generation.

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3 Comments

Filed under Health, Medicine

3 responses to “Causes of cancer – what can you control?

  1. Reblogged this on Nae's Nest and commented:
    Very inforamative. A great teaching tool.

  2. Hi ! I was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2008 after months of coughing, sweating, itching and scratching and loosing weight rapidly… Unfortunately my GP @the time was blind to my symptoms…Went private which was very wise decision. Had 5 months of chemo and month of radiotherapy. Three years later – cancer is gone, but Im on HRT – my ovaries are dead – Im 35 yrs old/young, I have underactive thyroid, I put on almost 20kgs. I suppose I should be greatful that I’m alive…But I feel 20 years older than my age. The illness took something away – urge for life. I suffered with depression, feeling a bit better now days. I was 32yrs happy 2 months pregnant (fact I was not aware of at the time) woman…I lived healthy life style, never smoked, drank only little, on occasions, exercised lots, love eating fruit & veg… so tell me what went wrong ???

  3. “Just because we might be that 1 in 4, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do everything in our powers to give ourselves the best chance to be one of the other three.”
    - The thing is that the 1 in 4 isn’t a fixed value. As you can see in that infographic, mot caners are preventable, so people followed the required changes in diet and life style, instead of 1 in 4 it could be 1 in 7, which is the average risk of suffering a non-preventable cancer.

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