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Cancer: Prevention is better than ‘No Cure’

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As Nigeria joined the entire world recently to mark World cancer Day, experts have drawn attention once again to the deadly scourge ravaging the world. The focus for now still remains on how cancer can be stemmed or put under control through preventive means.

In broaching this issue however, it is important to take home a few salient facts pertaining to the disease which cuts across races, age groups, and geographical zones. Cancer can be prevented through lifestyle behaviours, and we need to know what we can do to curtail the destructive impact of this dreaded ailment which cuts down an estimated 8.2 million people world-wide annually.

Cancer has no known cure that is cheaply available yet for the masses as sample trials are still ongoing in the USA for the one called Keytruda. While this is a stepping stone to breaking through in the fight against cancer, this drug is for now very expensive apart from the fact that it is specifically targeted at Melanoma or skin cancer – a not too common form of cancer, though equally as deadly as any.

Prevention still remains better than the ‘no cure’ situation we have with cancer; and so we must be ready to adhere to the following experts’ prescriptions on how to live a cancer free life. The World Health Organisation (WHO) experts so far are in agreement that of all globally acknowledged menacing diseases, cancer re­mains, perhaps, the most dreadful; it is also important to note that in the second half of the 20th century the numbers of cancer cases have tremendously increased.

The number one lifestyle requirement is for us to choose to live more on the natural side: For example, experts have warned of the dangers inherent in the habit of some to drink ice-cold water or other chilled drinks immediately after the consumption of hot meals. If you do this you will be altering the normal process of digestion in the way your food and the fats react with the sudden contact with freezing cold liquid. You must endeavour also to avoid the use of dangerous cosmetics such as bleaching substances found in certain soaps and creams.

Not left out of the list of dangerous cosmetics are some brands of hair shampoos, and antiperspirants. You should also avoid excessive intake of foods with additives such as artificial flavours, preservatives, seasoning and colourants; they can also cause cancer. This is in addition to too much of alcoholic beverage consumption, and tobacco smoking. You must avoid these behaviours.

Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods – they have been denatured. They can also cause cancer; this is also in addition to consuming too much of red (processed) meat such as beef; please reduce your intake of these as well.

Contact with (hazardous) industrial wastes including urban air pollution and in­door smoke from household use of solid fuels should be minimised e.g. fumes from factories, vehicles, power generators, and effluents, and tobacco. They contain carcinogenic particles. Also, stay away from radio-active equipments or curtail your exposure to them as much as possible.

Emphasis must be on the need to always eat nutritious wholesome meals every day; also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for the needed dose of antioxidants and a boost to your immune system. Eat also more of whole foods and less of refined stuff so that your body will be properly enabled to eliminate waste. Topping it all, a daily dose of exercise and, or activity is highly required for you to remain disease free.

And finally, the governments of both federal and states owe the citizenry the duty to legislate against wanton abuse of the environment through all manner of pollutions, as well as placing a ban on the production and importation of harmful food substances and cosmetics. All of these ought to be done in addition to a well designed mass enlightenment campaign.

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