It’s been proven that using sunscreen and stopping cigarette smoking can lower your risk of having cancer. Getting vaccinated against HPV, skipping the red meat, and steering clear of air pollution can also help avoid a few other risk factors. Many people are aware of certain things that can raise the risk of cancer. However, there are various normal, day-to-day items and activities that may be hurting your health more than you think.
According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 1.8 million people were expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2019. As it affects a huge number of the population, it’s important to know how you may be putting yourself at risk of cancer. Here are seven strange things you should be paying attention to.
1. Sitting still
Sedentary behavior is anything you do while lying down or sitting, except for sleeping. Examples include sitting at a desk or computer, lying on the sofa while watching TV or reading a book, and driving to work. Recent studies show that long periods of sedentary behavior can increase your chance of developing cancer, including endometrial, bowel, prostate, and ovarian cancers even if you exercise on most days. Diabetes and heart disease are also more common among those who spend more time sitting.
Live a more active lifestyle. Physical activity guidelines recommend 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days. You must also decrease and break up long periods of sitting or lying in your day. Stand up and move about every 15 to 20 minutes of sitting in front of the TV or computer. Go for a walk after eating your lunch. If possible, adjust the height of your desk so you can switch to a standing position.
2. Smoke from the grill
Research reveals a link between barbecued food with cancer. Fumes from the grill is said to have toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs. Scientists have proven that meat consumption, especially red and processed meats, that has been cooked on a barbecue grill is the easiest way of absorbing dangerous chemicals into our system.
Another way to ingest them is through inhaling the smoke produced by the cooking of the meat. According to the American Chemical Society’s journal, Environmental Science & Technology, skin absorption of grill fumes may be even more harmful than breathing them in. Wash those smoky clothes as soon as possible to reduce your exposure.
The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services states in its Report on Carcinogens that alcoholic beverages are a known human carcinogen. Clear patterns show a strong link between alcohol and the development of cancers of the head and neck, breast, liver, colon, and esophagus.
Alcohol impairs the body’s ability to break down and absorb various nutrients like vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, and carotenoids. It also increases blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone connected to breast cancer. In addition, ethanol in alcoholic drinks turns to acetaldehyde inside the body. It is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen that can damage both DNA and proteins.
4. Breast implants
Some women choose to get breast implants, for cosmetic reasons or breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. However, there have been concerns about this procedure leading to a heightened chance of developing cancer. The Food and Drug Association has seen a potential link between breast implants and the onset of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This type of cancer is extremely rare. It’s also not related to breast cancer; lymphomas are diseases that arise from the cells of the immune system.
In a 2018 study, the women who had breast implants that were textured, rather than smooth-surfaced, were more likely to develop ALCL. Researchers haven’t yet determined whether the type of implant – silicone or saline-filled – affects the risk of developing the disease. In 2019, the FDA recalled certain models of textured breast implants from the US market due to the risk of ALCL. While the association between cancer and breast implants is concerning, findings aren’t a call to have your breast implants removed or your treatment plan changed.
5. Being tall
Researchers say that height plays a role in cancer risk. Specifically, the risk goes up by about 10 percent for every four-inch increase in height. In a study published in the Royal Society journal, Dr. Leonard Nunney confirmed that tall people are more prone to cancer because their height adds cells. With more cells, there are more chances for things to go wrong. The report uncovered some of the mysteries surrounding the relationship between cells, genes, and cancer.
6. Hot tea
Many people drink tea to cope with stress. In fact, sipping on green tea may even lower your chances of developing cancer. Be sure to let your cup cool down first. Drinking extremely hot tea may increase the risk of cancer of the esophagus, according to a 2018 research done in China.
Researchers observed about 450,000 people during this study. They’ve found out that those who drank tea that was “burning hot” and also drank alcohol excessively and smoked tobacco were five times more likely to get esophageal cancer than people who did none of those three things. Extreme heat from this beverage could damage the lining of the esophagus and exacerbate the damage that’s already done by alcohol and smoke.
People who are obese or overweight may harbor higher levels of inflammation, thus increasing their likelihood of getting cancer. They may also have increased levels of hormones that are related to cell growth. A lower body weight, maintained by a healthy lifestyle, is ideal for combatting cancer.
The growth of cancer in our body is a result of various factors at play. While some are more serious than others, it still pays to know what things could be putting you at risk of such a deadly disease. This way, you can take steps to avoid them and lead a healthier lifestyle.