Sharjah: Adopting a healthy lifestyle such as having a balanced diet and doing regular exercise can help prevent cancer, underlined Sharjah-based non-profit organisation Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP).
FOCP emhasises that an important part of cancer prevention can be as simple as avoiding unhealthy food and being lethargic. It also advises people to exercise and do physical activities while at the same time avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption.
“Statistics indicate that between 30 – 50 per cent of cancers can be prevented by the adoption of a healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet and exercise, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 17 people die every minute from cancer, which claimed 8.8 million lives in 2020. Around 22 per cent of cancer-related deaths were triggered by predisposing factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking,” FOCP says in a statement on Friday.
FOCP YouTube channel
FOCP added it has recently launched a YouTube channel (focpuae) featuring several videos that offer easy-to-prepare healthy and delicious recipes. It also shed light on several other risk factors that lead to the formation of cancer cells and double the rate of metastasis – the process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body.
In one of the videos, FOCP explains there is connection between lack of proper sleep and cancer. “Research has established that insufficient sleep may indirectly heighten cancer risk as it is strongly linked to obesity. Lack of sleep and overexposure to light at night is not only unhealthy, it decreases the production of melatonin, a hormone that facilitates sleep and helps sets the body’s biological clock. Studies suggest that a shortened duration of nocturnal sleep is associated with higher cancer risk, particularly breast cancer,” it noted.
Processed foods = high cancer risk
FOCP added: “Processed foods high in sugar and low in fibre and nutrients have also been linked to not only higher cancer risk, but also to other NCDs (non-communicable diseases), such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Tobacco use is a also leading cause of cancer. “People who use tobacco are at an increased risk of developing cancer. A cigarette contains about 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking impacts not only the smokers, but also those around them. Second-hand smoking, also known as involuntary smoking or passive smoking, exposes everyone in the smoker’s vicinity to the same risks,” FOCP explained.
Physical activities = low cancer risk
On a positive note, FOCP noted: “There is strong evidence linking higher physical activity to lower cancer risk. Exercise reduce the risk of developing cancer by stimulating the immune system, which plays a critical role in combating the disease.”
FOCP has collaborated with professional athletes, yoga instructors and renowned nutritionists to share practical and easy tips on exercising as well as following a healthy diet. It has also posted positive audio-visual content to boost the morale of cancer patients