Ricochet News

Port Elizabeth Cancercare unit shares three lifestyle steps to help prevent cancer

Apr 13, 2018
Port Elizabeth Cancercare unit shares three lifestyle steps to help prevent cancer

While there’s still so much unknown about what causes the disease, taking simple steps towards a healthier life and body can make a huge difference in helping you prevent cancer

There are so many different reports, statistics and commentaries around what can be done to prevent cancer that it can be hard to tell the truth from the reality. There are, however, one thing that is well-accepted – lifestyle choices make all the difference in the fight against cancer.

There are lifestyle changes that can change your health and risk factors for the better and it doesn’t matter when you start – today is the best day to change your life.

Dr Walton, Clinical & Radiation Oncologist at Cancercare PE, offers three simple steps towards a healthier life and attitude to help yourself arm your body in the fight against cancer.

Moderation is important

“I believe that everything should be in moderation and you should work towards achieving a balance in your life,” says Dr Walton.

“Healthy eating may be important, but so is exercise, reducing stress, cutting back on alcohol consumption and managing your weight.”

Too much of a good thing isn’t going to stay that way. You can eat too much fruit or cut back too heavily on essential carbohydrates or not give your body enough protein. Red meat in excess, for example, can be bad for you, but in moderation it has its place. Be careful with the amounts you choose to eat.

“Your body craves what it needs so if it wants chocolate, have it, but don’t have six chocolates,” adds Dr Walton.

“Your body craves the energy so listen to what it is telling you, but make clever choices. Like swap the chocolate for a piece of fruit.”

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Your body needs the five food groups to stay healthy. The best way to achieve this is by eating fresh fruit, vegetables and food – the fresher the better.

“With modern living, sometimes eating fresh isn’t always possible so if you are going to take the multivitamins, don’t only take those,” says Dr Walton.

“It goes back to everything in moderation. Artificial sources of vitamins shouldn’t be your only source of vitamin nutrition and a healthy person should be eating in such a way as they don’t need to take extra vitamins.”

Dr Walton suggests reassessing your exercise, stress and diet if you are heavily reliant on vitamin tablets to get out of bed and into each day. Make health and fresh food a priority.

Get moving

You don’t need to become a 20km a day runner or 75km a weekend cyclist to put your body back on the healthy list. Just start moving. This is particularly true for those who have already been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment - movement and fresh air are extremely beneficial to recovery and health.

“Get walking,” says Dr Walton. “Very little movement is bad for your blood circulation, your energy levels or your immune system. Even if you take a walk, that simple movement is so much better for your body.”

Make your body stronger. Give it the tools it needs to fight against cancer. A healthy body and a healthy mind are built through a good diet, reduced stress levels and increased exercise. Give yourself a fighting chance by allowing yourself a moment to breathe, relax and change your life into one that helps you live it for longer.