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Cancer is probably the UK's most infamous condition, and a recent analysis suggests that 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with it at some point in our lives. The analysis also found that the risk was higher for men, with 54% of all cancer diagnoses being in males.
The new calculation, up from the previous 1 in 3, is based on an improved average life expectancy. The good news is that, thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment, the survival rate for most cancers has also risen.
Even going by the previous assumption that 1 in 3 people would be diagnosed at some point, it is likely that someone you know will be affected by the condition, if not you personally. You might not think that there is much you can do about it, but the truth is that there are lifestyle changes you can make that may decrease your risk.
You have probably seen articles and adverts promoting certain foods as being cancer fighters, but in reality researchers have struggled to find evidence linking specific foods to a decreased risk of cancer. There is, however, evidence that a healthy diet is an effective form of prevention. Eating well will ensure that your body receives the nutrients it needs and will contribute to your overall health as well as to your body's ability to fight illnesses like cancer.
This is closely linked to a good diet, as well as taking regular exercise. Studies suggest that a healthy body weight reduces the risk of certain cancers. Exercising in combination with eating well could therefore be an effective cancer preventative.
It has been shown that excessive drinking can put you at higher risk of certain types of cancer. This is not to be confused with complete abstinence, as researchers also suggest that drinking in moderation can have health benefits. Regularly exceeding the recommended guidelines is likely to have negative consequences, however, even if it does not lead to cancer.
The risks of smoking are well known in the UK, and yet it is still the number one cause of preventable death in the country. Around 5% of all UK hospital visits are smoking-related and the risks associated with it are very well documented. Quitting smoking is an essential part of protecting yourself from cancer and doing so will lead to a better quality of life in your future.
You already know how important it is to protect your skin from the sun. Excessive sun exposure, as well as using salon tanning beds, increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Using sun cream with the correct UV factor, covering up and staying out of the sun around midday can make all the difference and, in the long term, getting a tan just isn't worth the risk.
Protecting ourselves and the ones we love is a big concern for all of us, but sometimes it's easy to neglect these things. Following our guide and looking for advice and help on other sites too is an excellent way of making sure that you and your family enjoy a long and healthy life together.