Monday was world cancer day, the day on which internationally is considered the disease and those who are suffering. The number of cancer cases continues to grow. Also in the Netherlands. How can that be? And is there something to do? Professor Ellen Kampman: “After smoking is obesity a risk factor number one in many types of cancer.”
In the last thirty years, the number of kankerdiagnoses doubled, reported researchers on the eve of world cancer day. The causes: ageing, population growth and better screening. But there is more to it than that, says Kampman, professor of Diet and Disease at Wageningen University, she examines the connection between lifestyle and cancer. “The risk of cancer is not only influenced by genetic predisposition, but also by lifestyle.”
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 30 to 50 percent of the cases of cancer can be prevented by healthier choices in our lifestyle. That is to say: no smoking, no alcohol drinking, healthy eating, healthy weight, burnt by the sun prevent and move around a lot.
If current trends regarding smoking cessation and the growth of obesity continue, it would be overweight ever the place of smoking can take over as the main risk factor for cancer in the way we live.
Lifestyle has not all cancers the same influence, emphasizes Kampman. Brain tumors and leukemia, for example, have probably little to do with lifestyle. That is true, however, for colon cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
To lose weight and strength against cancer
On the basis of tens of thousands of studies and meta-analyses of the effect of diet on the development of cancer, said a panel of experts commissioned by the World Cancer Research Fund guidelines for the prevention of cancer. In the first place ‘prevent obesity’.
Overweight and obesity increase the risk of cancer in several ways, says Kampman. First, increase of fat cells and the amount of sex hormones, such as estrogen, and that increases the risk for example, breast cancer.
In addition, it can fat around the waist the body encourage the making of growth hormones, which also reduce the risk of cancer increases. Third, fat cells around organs inflammation and insulin resistance cause the risk of cancer also increases.
The motto: maintain a healthy weight and a slim waist. Also exercise is very important to the risk of cancer to lowering. Because you are overweight it reduces, but also because, for example, you stool beneficial effect and muscle mass increases.
Everyone is according to Kampman would benefit from strength training. Certainly from the forties. Then we start losing muscle. You don’t need weights to press in the gym. What simple floor exercises, such as squats, abdominal exercises and push-ups, make for a better relationship between muscle mass and fat. That reduces the risk of cancer.
More vegetables and fruit eat can risk
Also, alcohol is a risk factor. Especially for women: one drink per day leads to a higher risk of breast cancer. Also eats plenty of fruits and vegetables: 250 grams of vegetables and two pieces of fruit per day. Vegetables and fruits protect us against certain forms of cancer, such as mouth and throat cancer.
Except that fruits and vegetables are an important source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, they also contain few calories. That is our weight for good. Dietary fiber can reduce the risk of colon cancer. You will find them also in whole grain products and legumes.
Chicken and fish better than red meat
Red meat (meat from mammals, such as cattle, pigs and game) and processed meat (such as deli meats and sausage) increases the risk of colon cancer. The red color gets red meat at the natural dye-heme iron. The body can substance break down, but when we do too much of in their diet, the colon damage ultimately resulting in cancer may arise.
Eat weekly up to 500 grams of red meat at the meal. Replace red meat by chicken or fish and choose more often for vegetarian. Processed meat it is best to let it lie, or there is very little to eat. Of processed meat is, in fact, no safe amount well-known.
It actually comes down to this, according to Kampman: our body is an ingenious system in which numerous mechanisms work together to keep us as healthy as possible. Who moves a lot and only eats what his body really as power supply, takes good care of his/her body.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are no guarantee against cancer, she emphasizes. But by healthy life reduce the risk of cancer significantly.