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Cancer Causes & Prevention

By Casandra Stolz

Is your unbalanced lifestyle putting you at risk for cancer? Cancer can begin at any place in the body and travel to other areas that can be fatal. For example, cancer cells which started in the lungs can travel to bones and continue to grow. Medically, this is still determined as lung cancer.

There are many types of cancer. Some spread rapidly throughout the body while others produce very slowly. Strains of cancer, if observed early enough, can be removed surgically with ease. Others require extensive chemotherapy options paired with debilitating drugs.

According to a 2015 statistical data release by The National Cancer Institute, people ages 65-74 are most at risk for developing the most common types of cancer.

The only characteristic all cancer cases share is the overgrowth of cells. Normal cells carry an agent in their genes, called a telomere, at the end of all chromosomes. Telomeres code the gene to stop when it is at the end of its life cycle.

When a cell divides, it becomes shorter. Once this cell becomes too short, the cell is coded to stop dividing and terminate itself. Cancer cells defy the stop codon and continue to divide and multiply. This is a genetic alteration that eliminates the protein’s function. Genetic mutations can avoid detection from our immune system, resulting in a very dangerous disease.

Eating healthy and leading an active lifestyle will not ensure that our cells function properly. All cells in the body use glucose as their primary source of energy. Glucose, a subcategory of carbohydrates, serves as the most abundant monosaccharide in the body. High amounts are detected in processed foods and sweetened beverages. Lower and more usable amounts are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

To date, there is not enough scientific evidence to conclude that sugar has a direct link to cancer. Although, an indirect link can be spotted. An excess of high sugar foods could lead to obesity, putting an individual at risk. Nourishing the body with fresh foods, water, sunlight, and movement, aids in overall human health.

Prevention can be taken in many forms. As mentioned, healthy food choices and moderate exercise can lower the risks. Although, healthy foods carry glucose. A vegetable, fruit, whole grain, and sustainable protein diet provides the best option.

Environmental factors can trigger cells to develop mutations. The use of tobacco products is one of the largest stimulating risks. The harmful chemicals found in all tobacco products weaken the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells.

Currently, the world is still in a learning stage about cancer. These simple dietary and physical alterations can prevent future medical issues. Screening tests can help detect

malignancies in their earliest stages, but you should always be alert for symptoms of the disease. The American Cancer Society released these simple detections to be aware of:

C: Change in bowel or bladder habits

A: A sore that does not heal

U: Unusual bleeding or discharge

T: Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere

I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

O: Obvious change in a wart or mole

N: Nagging cough or hoarseness

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