Life is about hopes, dreams and love. Yet, there are things that shake the very foundation of life and disrupt these hopes and dreams. Cancer is easily one such thing. Despite significant advances in medicine leading to a higher chance of recovery, the treatment, the costs and the constant uncertainty can cause significant emotional and financial strain on patients.
Cancer is a complex series of diseases that can strike anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Yet, thanks to decades of research, there are some basic practices you can follow to give you and your body a better chance of staying cancer-free.
1) Live a healthy, balanced lifestyle:
Each of us may have a different view of what exactly a healthy lifestyle is! So, for clarity, what we mean by a healthy lifestyle is simply:
- Eating healthy (simply eating a salad in the morning does not count!)
- Staying physically active.
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking!
How does an unhealthy lifestyle link to cancer?
Did you know that a study done by The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that at least 18% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States were related to body fat, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and/or poor nutrition? Simply said, 1/5th of all cancers were preventable.1
2) Control your weight and maintain your BMI
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can help you reduce the risk of cancer (and for that matter other chronic diseases). This is confirmed according to multiple observational studies conducted globally. For instance, a population-based study using BMI and cancer incidence data from the GLOBOCAN project2 estimated that in 2012 in the United States, about 28,000 new cases of cancer in men (3.5%) and 72,000 in women (9.5%) were due to being overweight or obese.
How does obesity link to cancer?
- Excess weight causes the body to make and circulate more estrogen and insulin – hormones that can stimulate cancer growth.
- Obesity also results in people having chronic low-level inflammation, which can over time, cause DNA damage that leads to cancer.
If you want to know what your ideal weight should be, check your body mass index (BMI), a score based on the relationship between your height and weight. BMI calculators such as this3 are available online for free.
3) Routine check-ups:
Did you know, if detected early, cancer in most cases can be treated with much ease and with less financial strain?
Be Financially Prepared
Following the above advice will give you a better chance of staying cancer-free. However, the reality is that the occurrence of cancer or any other Non-Communicable Disease for that matter, can never be fully predicted.
The cost of cancer treatment in itself can be a financial nightmare. If not prepared, you will be left helpless or at the mercy of the generosity of others. This however can be avoided.
There are many health insurance solutions in the market. Not all the same! So, make sure you get the best solution to suit your needs and budget.
Also, if your insurance cover was is a few years old, its best to check with your insurance agent to see if the coverage you have is enough or if there are newer and more comprehensive covers available.