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Reduce your risk of cancer

World Cancer Day

Everyone has been affected by cancer in one form or another. You might have lost a friend or relative, know someone who has battled cancer or been there for someone in their time of need. The facts surrounding cancer are shocking. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide with 9.6 million people dying each year. However, did you know that 3.7 million lives could be saved each year with early detection, prevention and treatment?

There are so many different types of cancer, and there are a number of different lifestyle factors which we can take into consideration to help to prevent and reduce our risks.

Lose weight

Being overweight has been linked to having an increased risk of developing 12 different cancers. Losing weight can be a great way to prevent and reduce your risk of developing cancer later on in life. If you’re looking to lose weight then take a look at our blog post helping you shift the weight for good.

Drink less alcohol

Alcohol can increase the risk of six types of cancer, and the evidence is now stronger than ever before. According to Cancer Research, cutting down on your habit will help reduce your risk, the more you cut down then the less risk you face. There are other health benefits associated with reducing your alcohol intake too, from reducing high blood pressure to preventing liver disease. Start by understanding your alcohol units and knowing the guidelines.

less alcohol

Nutrition

Experts have previously suggested that diets high in red meats, processed meats, salted foods and low in fruits and vegetables can increase our risk of cancer. Having a healthy diet could prevent around 1 in 20 cancers and cut your risk. Here we have put together a guide to eating well, maintaining a balanced diet and staying healthy. Eating healthy will also keep you more active throughout the day and can help to prevent further illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes.

Being active

Exercising regularly can help prevent breast cancer and bowel cancer as well as aiding weight loss, which as previously mentioned can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Being more active can also help boost your energy, improve your mood, reduce your risk of dementia and osteoarthritis and improve your strength and mobility. If you’re looking for an exercise programme then take a look at the Couch to 5K which is a free app designed for those wanting to be more active.

Smoking

Did you know that tobacco smoke contains at least 80 different substances which can cause cancer? When smoke is inhaled the chemicals enter the lungs, blood-stream and are transported around the body, which is why smoking is related to many cancers other than lung cancer and mouth cancer. If you are looking to stop smoking then talk to your pharmacist or doctor, there are a range of free services to help you stop smoking. Visit https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree for more information.

exercise

Key symptoms of cancer

Changing some of your lifestyle factors can reduce your risk of developing cancer, there are also some changes we can’t make like our genetics, age and immune system. We can, however, be aware of some of the key signs of cancer. Remember if you find anything that isn’t normal for you, then you should speak to your GP and get it checked out.

According to Cancer Research, here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Breathlessness
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Heavy night sweats
  • Persistent heartburn or indigestion
  • A mouth or tongue ulcer that won’t heal
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent bloating
  • Bowel changes
  • Appetite loss
  • Unusual breast changes
  • Blood in your stool or urine
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • New moles or changes to existing moles
  • Coughing up blood
  • A persistent cough
  • An unusual lump or swelling
  • Unexplained pain or ache

Private Health Insurance

We can provide cover for cancer treatment with our Essentials Plus, Everyday, Everyday Plus, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus and Elite policies. Get your free quote through our website today or call us on 0800 980 4601.

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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