Non communicable diseases (NCD) are mainly lifestyle related. Cancer is one of the commonest NCD with rising incidence globally. Head and neck cancers particularly contributing to a large chunk.
Your actions are responsible for the consequences:
There is robust evidence to suggest the role of habits (tobacco and alcohol related) in development of not just head neck but also lung, gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancers. Similarly, there is enough evidence to suggest the role of abstinence from these habits resulting in decreased probability of developing these cancers. Thus, the dictum of “ Its never too late to quit” cannot be overemphasised.
Understand that prevention is better than cure:
It would also sometimes be advisable to go back to our school text books and understand the importance of a balanced diet in cancer prevention. Our wholesome Indian food has enough natural antioxidants (beta carotenes etc) which act as chemopreventive agents. Not just that, a balanced diet additionally regularizes bowel movements and prevents obesity as opposed to junk food which in return prevents some cancers like colon and breast cancer respectively.
Change your lifestyle:
There is infact a fearfully rising trend of tobacco related addictions in the youth resulting in a common occurrence of oral cancers in young individuals (<40 years). It is important to raise awareness amongst them in order to have a healthy tomorrow. Emphasise the role of regular exercise as a more effective stress buster than resorting to a cigarette stick!
On this World Cancer Day, let us all pledge that we shall not just lead a healthy life ourselves but also spread the word.
Prevent cancer by choosing a healthy lifestyle!