Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cancer and Nutrition

Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal growth and can occur in any organ. Cancerous tumors are said to be malignant, and they affect the structure and consequently the function of organs. 
The mortality (death) rate for cancer is usually high, however it does not always cause death.
Although scientists are unable to say exactly how, nutrition has been proven to modify the progress of cancer, by affecting the processes that allows it to become advanced in an individual.
Nutrition is also affected by the different procedures that an individual with cancer undergoes e.g. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Our diet can contain both inhibitors and enhancers of cancerous cells. Inhibitors found in the diet include antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E and phytochemical e.g. lycopene which is found in tomatoes.
Dietary enhancers may be the fat in red meat or other substances found in grilled meat.

Weight and Physical Activity
Being overweight or obese appears to increase the risk of cancer occurrence.  Little or no physical activity, high energy intake and large body mass are associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer in men and women. There is great benefit in regular physical activity in the reduction of the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Diets high in fat also tend to be high in calories and this contributes to obesity. This in turn is associated with increased risk of cancers at several places in the body.
Certain types of fats for example, those in red meats and dairy products have been found to increase the risk of developing prostate, breast and lung cancer in individuals.
Diets high in protein are also high in meat and fat and low in fiber. 
A soy containing diet may be protective against breast cancer especially if the soy diet is consumed before reaching adulthood. However for women who have already been diagnosed with Estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, soy containing foods may be harmful.
Fiber is said to have a lowering effect of colorectal cancer, however with this type of cancer family history should also be considered.
Fruits and Vegetables
Cancer prevention organizations recommend eating a minimum of 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to effectively reduce ones risk of developing cancer. These may be, raw an d fresh vegetable, leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables for example broccoli and cabbage, lettuce and raw and fresh fruits.
Alcohol consumption is associated with increased cancer risk.
A  study found that regular drinking of green tea and other sources of poly-phenols may reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
Bottom line
With all of these factors to consider, having a balanced diet with exercise is the take home message.
These practices will ensure a better state of health for you.


lorna vanderhaeghe products said...

Cancer has be one of the main diseases in our world today that kills millions of people. It's important to avoid it by proper nutrition and diet.

Tanya said...

Thank you for your comment Lorna, I agree, a healthful diet goes a long way in reducing the risk of having cancer, however there are many other aspects to control. Thank you for visiting my blog, feel free to subscribe or follow my blog.

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