Tag Archives: cancer prevention

Take Care of Yourself – 6 Cancers and Ways to Prevent It

illustration-of-cancer-cells

Cancer.

Easily one of the worst, if not THE worst, thing on this planet.  It seems that rather than finding a cure for it, Cancer is instead finding more and more creative ways to kill us.  This is especially true among the male population.  A recent study suggested a 24% increase in Cancer diagnoses in Men over the next 8 years.  The one we always hear about is Prostate Cancer and it certainly should be taken seriously.  Yet there are other forms of the disease which are killing us way too early.  Below are six of them along with ways to fight and hopefully prevent it from happening to you.  Nothing is shown to totally prevent cancer but taking the steps to develop a healthy lifestyle is a good start.

Pancreatic Cancer

Potential warning signs: recently diagnosed diabetes, unintended weight loss, jaundice and/or back/abdominal pain.

These kind of cancer cells devour glucose and use it to spread rapidly in the body.  Thus, the huge increase of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased the numbers of people who end up with this kind of cancer.  Due to the location of the pancreas in the body it is almost impossible to remove the tumors.

How to prevent it:  according to a recent study conducted by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, people who performed 50 minutes of high-intensity resistance training for seven weeks reduced their fasting glucose levels by about 13mg/dl after just 10 minutes of recovery post-workout.  Your muscles will burn up the blood sugar in order for them to grow thus robbing any potential cancer from using it.

Liver Cancer

Potential warning signs: weight loss (without trying), loss of appetite, swelling in your abdominal cavity, nausea, vomiting and yellowing skin or eyes.

For many, many years this was generally only associated with alcoholism.  However, in the last 20 years doctors have seen a rise (especially in men) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD.) Approximately 20% of U.S. males currently suffer from this disease. The fatty deposits around the liver can eventually lead to cirrhosis and in turn liver cancer.

How to prevent it:  stay away from Fructose.  It took me a long time to cut out those sugary beverages from my life so trust me I know it is hard to do but the benefits of cutting them out far outweigh the happiness of drinking a Coke.  Sixty-one percent of men who drink soda and similar sugary concoctions are more likely to develop NAFLD than those who don’t.  Some studies have suggested to drink coffee instead (again stay away from the sugar) because results have shown coffee helps to prevent fatty deposits around the liver.

Testicular Cancer

Potential warning signs: we talked about this particular one a few times a year.  Check out our blog about it here.  If your balls have changed size/shape, are swollen, have lumps and/or you have pain in your scrotum or lower abdominal you should see a doctor.

Doctor’s are still perplexed by the steady rise of this kind of cancer and haven’t necessarily been able to pin point causes.  Obviously, any exposure to carcinogens will put you at risk but it is almost impossible to keep track of everything that may contain that kind of material.  Unfortunately, if this kind of disease runs in your family you are ten times more likely to get it yourself.

How to prevent it:  early detection is still your best friend as there are plenty of treatment options available.  Survival rates for all 5 stages still sits in the 90% range.  So be sure at least once a month, while you are in the shower, give your boys a check up.  If you feel anything like a lump or swelling you should call your doctor immediately.  Unsure if it is lump?  You should still see your doctor immediately.

Melanoma

Potential warning signs: scan your body for moles.  If any of them are larger than 1/4 inch with irregular borders, have an odd shape, change color/size or are not asymmetrical, you should see your dermatologist right away.

87% of Melanoma is caused by exposure to sunlight.  As a group we are doing poorly.  Only 20% of men even bother to apply sunscreen. Most of us (including myself) head out the door with a baseball hat and maybe some sunscreen and think it is enough.  The hat doesn’t even cover your entire face and you also miss the neck and ears. Your best bet is to get a wide brimmed fedora.

How to prevent it:  this one isn’t tough.  Put on some damn sun screen!  Nothing less than SPF +35 will do.  You should also be putting it on in the winter (regardless of where you live.)  You should also make it part of your yearly physical to see a dermatologist to get checked for irregular moles.

Kidney Cancer

Potential warning signs: low back pain, a lasting fever not caused by an infection, low back pain or a bump on your side or lower back.

Your kidney has several functions and one of them is to control your blood pressure.  When we gain excess weight it causes an increase in our blood pressure which takes a toll on our kidney.  This of course wreaks havoc on your metabolism which in turn can lead to inflammation in your kidney.  It is the inflammation that can help to facilitate the growth of cancer cells in your kidney.

How to prevent it: the best way is to maintain an active lifestyle. This is not always easy (as I know) when you have a desk job that requires you to sit for hours on end in front of a computer. However, just walking or running for 3 hours a week will help reduce your chances of getting this kind of cancer by 61%.

Thyroid Cancer

Potential warning signs: a lump or swelling in the neck, hoarse voice, trouble swallowing or a persistent cough you can’t get rid of.

This is another one the doctor’s have a hard time figuring out. However, they point to several likely culprits.  Since the 1970s furniture companies have been spraying their products with flame retardant material.  Fumes from this spray can attack your thyroid and disrupt your thyroid function.  In addition, radiation can be a huge cause of this cancer.  Experts estimate we are exposed to twice as much radiation today as we were 25 years ago.

If you are like me and suffer from a Thyroid condition you also need to be more careful regarding this particular kind of cancer.

How to prevent it: like many of the ones above, getting a routine screening is important.  Having been checked several times I can tell you it is an easy procedure.  The most common way is via an ultrasound.  If that is inconclusive you may need to get an MRI.  As an additional step you may want to invest in a HEPA-filtered vacuum and be sure you wipe down your furniture with a wet rag to remove dangerous particles.

Tell us if you agree or not!