Make 2020 your year of healthy choices
Reduce your risk of cancer in 2020 by adopting some key new year’s resolutions
Why not start as you mean to go on and make 2020 the year of healthy choices? 4 out of 10 cancers could be prevented if we make simple changes to 5 areas of our everyday life’. The Marie Keating Foundation’s Your Health Your Choice campaign has some advice on changes you can make.
These changes include the following: not smoking, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active, limiting your alcohol intake and avoiding too much sun exposure.
Bernie Carter, Senior Oncology Nurse, in the Marie Keating Foundation says, “Making lifestyle changes can be difficult but the benefits can be huge. Start by making some small changes until you are ready to make bigger changes. Below is a guide on some changes you can make to decrease your risk of 4 of the most common cancers: ‘Bowel, Skin, Lung and Breast’.
- Quit Smoking- One in every two smokers will die of a tobacco related disease. Help is available. Freetext QUIT to 50100 and visit the HSE Quit.ie website for tips and resources to help you quit. Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer, accounting for an estimated 85-90% of cases.
Click here for more information on the impact of smoking.
- Eat a healthy diet and be a healthy weight – Obesity/body weight is linked to up to 40% of some cancers. Bowel and breast cancer are linked to obesity. Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. For more information on making a healthy diet plan, click here
- Be physically active – Exercise can reduce the risk of many cancers including bowel, breast and cancer of the uterus (womb). Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 5 days per week. If you have a medical condition seek the advice of your G.P. before starting an exercise programme. For more information on how keeping active can help your general health, click here.
- Limit your alcohol intake – Each year in Ireland, over 900 people are diagnosed with an alcohol-related cancer and 500 people die from alcohol-related cancers. The less you drink, the lower your risk of developing an alcohol-related cancer. Types of cancer caused by alcohol include the following: Liver, Bowel, Mouth, Upper throat, Larynx and Oesophagus and Breast. Click here for an alcohol guideline and learn more about the impact alcohol abuse can have on your body.
- Avoid too much sun exposure – Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland and the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer is rising. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and sun beds is the main cause of skin cancer.
Tips to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer include the following:
- Know the UV index: When the UV index is 3 or above you need to protect your skin.
- Slip on clothing: Cover skin as much as possible.
- Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children. The sunscreen should have high UVA protection and be water resistant.
- Slap on a wide brimmed hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
- Slide on sunglasses with UV protection: Guard your eyes from harm
- Seek Shade: Avoid direct sunlight.
- Never ever use a sunbed.
Do not deliberately try to get a suntan, and avoid getting a sunburn. Click here for more information on how you can have fun in the sun safely.
Bernie Carter added “It may help you to stay motivated and to achieve your goals if you involve a family member or friend to support you on your journey to becoming healthier person. By learning more about how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the implications that poor choices could have to your health, you are taking the first steps. Visit the Your Health Your Choice page for more for more tips on how you can start your 2020 good health journey today.”
For more information on when to get a check up, click here