Vital lifestyle change
PUBLISHED: 11:34 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 May 2010
LIFESTYLE changes could prevent half of all cancers, and Grove House, the St Albans day hospice, wants everyone to know that by making small changes, the risks can be reduced dramatically. More than one in three people in the UK will develop cancer during
LIFESTYLE changes could prevent half of all cancers, and Grove House, the St Albans day hospice, wants everyone to know that by making small changes, the risks can be reduced dramatically.
More than one in three people in the UK will develop cancer during their lifetime and CANCERi, the information service at Grove House, regularly gives practical, confidential advice to people wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.
Mary Wrenn, who co-ordinates the service, said: "We have a very wide range of information about many types of cancer. We can supply practical information on everything from symptoms to support groups to lifestyle choices. There are small changes that everyone can make to significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer."
Grove House has come up with some healthy living advice to help people make the kind of changes which can help.
The first is giving up smoking as it is one of the main causes of lung cancer and a major risk factor in at least 12 other cancers including mouth, throat and stomach. The earlier someone stops the better but it is never too late. Grove House advises asking your GP for advice or phoning the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0169 or Quitline on 0800 00 2200.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important because being overweight or obese increases the risk of several cancers including bowel, kidney and womb, as well as raising the risk of breast cancer in women.
Eat a healthy diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, and try to take 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times a week.
Try to drink sensibly. Alcohol increases the risk of mouth, throat, liver and breast cancer. The general guidelines are two units a day for women and three for men but many alcoholic drinks contain more than one unit.
Be safe in the sun. Too much sun is not only ageing but increases the risk of skin cancer. Avoid burning, cover up and wear sunscreen. Refrain from using sun beds and watch moles for any changes in shape and colour which must be reported to your GP.
Practice safe sex. Some sexually-transmitted infections can cause cancer. The Hepatitis B virus is a common cause of cancer that starts in the liver and the virus can be spread by unprotected sex so it is always safer to use a condom.
Early detection of any cancer is vital so be aware of any changes and contact your doctor if you notice anything unusual. It is also important to attend screening when invited - it could save your life.
The CANCERi office is situated at Grove House in Waverley Road, St Albans, and it is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday. There is no need to make an appointment - just pop in or access the helpline by calling 01727 843401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All information is free and given in confidence and the service is open to anyone wanting to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle to help prevent cancer.