This national campaign aims to help increase public health awareness of breast cancer.
A lot of research has gone into investigating possible contributing factors to cancer risk. The World Cancer Research Fund currently gives recommendations for reducing cancer risk; we discuss a few of these briefly…
- Weight gain and obesity is linked to both breast and bowel cancer.
- Strong evidence suggests that physical activity has protective benefits against breast and bowel cancers, with exercise being a vital component for maintenance of a healthy weight. Doing a small amount of exercise everyday can really offer benefits.
- Long-term dietary choices are an important consideration. While a lot of energy-dense foods such as pizzas, biscuits and crisps can provide a cheap (and tasty) food option, they are laden with salt, sugar and saturated fats, offer little nutritional value and will increase the risk of obesity.
- Evidence suggests that foods high in vegetables, fruits, wholegrains (e.g. brown pasta or rice and wholemeal bread) and pulses may offer protection against a number of cancers. These types of foods have high nutrient values and provide high levels of dietary fibres. For tips on how to reach your 5 A DAY visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Whatcounts.aspx
- Red and processed meats are strongly linked to bowel cancer. It is advisable to try and limit intake of meats such as bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and some sausages.
- There is ever growing evidence linking alcohol consumption to increased breast and bowel cancer. While a small amount may offer protective benefits against heart disease, it is essential that alcohol is consumed in moderation. To find out more information on safe limits for alcohol visit: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/
To get involved with Breast Cancer Awareness month this October visit: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/
Recommendations discussed above are taken from the WCRF/AICR report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective (2007). Further details can be found at: http://www.wcrf.org/cancer_research/cup/recommendations.php