It’s one of the world’s most feared diseases. However, scientists and doctors claim that around four in every 10 UK cancer cases could be prevented.
Recent research has shown that drinking two cans of sugary drinks a week can increase the risk of developing cancer by 18 per cent.
But it’s not just cutting out that can of coke that can cut our risk of certain cancers.
We reveal 20 simple ways that you can reduce your risk right now – and no, it’s not just stopping smoking.
Plus if you’re going to be bad, we show you the limits that you should try and set yourself for a heathy life…
Have a laugh
It’s often said that laughter is the best form of medicine. And research shows this to be true – as having a giggle can boost your immune system and slash stress hormones.
On top of this, it’s also been proven to stimulate the body’s production of killer T-cells, which help fight off cancer.
There’s never been a better excuse to watch your favourite comedy show.
Sip a beer
Surprisingly, when drunk in moderation, beer can have some health benefits. This is because it may protect against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori – which is linked to both ulcers and stomach cancer.
However, it’s best to stick to just the one beverage, as drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day can increase your risk of mouth, throat, oesophageal and liver cancer.
And even one alcoholic drink a day as been found to increase breast cancer risk in women by 10 per cent.
Many of us work the day away while sat at a computer. However, research has shown that sitting down for long periods of time can increase the risk of developing cancer – especially womb, bowel and lung.
Shockingly, the risk rises by up to 10 per cent for every extra two hours sitting down.
And even those who are active, can’t make up for the time they spend seated – for the effect is unrelated to how much exercise people do when they aren’t lounging around.
Ignore your sweet tooth
The hot weather may have you reaching for the ice cream tub, but try to ignore your urges for sweet food. Studies show that high sugar levels can lead to abnormal cel growth.
The sweet stuff can also cause you to put on weight – which is one of the leading causes of cancer according to the World Health organisation.
Find your healthy weight
At least one in 20 cancers in the UK are linked to people being overweight. And obesity is believed to be the most important known avoidable cause of cancer after tobacco.
This is because, fat tissue in overweight people produces high levels of hormones, such as oestrogen and insulin, which increase the risk of certain cancers – including breast, bowel and pancreatic.
Yet, there’s no need to fear. For, if you’re dedicated enough, research shows that losing 20lb can slash your risk of all cancers by 10 per cent.
Use rubber gloves when cleaning
You may think that keeping your house sparkling is key to warding off sickness and germs. But some household cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that could cause cancer – including phthalates, petroleum solvents, and formaldehyde.
As a result, it’s best to avoid using strong solvents, drain-cleaners or cleaning agents that could get absorbed through the skin without wearing rubber gloves.
Instead, try to use more natural products, such as baking soda and vinegar to make your home spick and span.
Get your five cups a day
It’s important to make sure that you always get enough fruit and veg. But research has shown that those who drank five or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 40 per cent decreased risk of brain cancer, compared with people who drank none.
On top of this, coffee intake also appears to reduce the risk of oral and throat cancer by almost as much.
Marinate your meat
Frying or chargrilling meat at a high temperature has been associated with creating a variety of chemicals that are linked to cancer.
However, researchers from the American Institute for Cancer Research, found that coating the meat with a marinade prevented direct contact with the flames – reducing the carcinogenic chemicals that were created.
So whether you fancy teryaki sauce or a honey and mustard glaze, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with some of your favourite flavours.
Sleep in complete darkness
It’s time to ditch the nightlight and put up the blackout blinds. For, sleeping in total darkness has been found to promote healthy levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which may prevent the growth of some cancers.
This is particularly important, as many studies have found that prolonged exposure to artificial light at night time can increase the risk of cancers such as breast and prostate – as higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, suppress the immune system. And shift workers are most at risk.
Soak up the sun
Although it’s always recommended to wear a good SPF when heading out into the sun, getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a day can help up your intake of vitamin D.
Not only can this work as an effective mood booster, but researchers have found that women with high levels of vitamin D in their blood had a 67 per cent lower risk of cancer than those with low levels.
And you can still get your vitamin D fix, even when it’s raining, through foods such as fatty fish and fortified cereals.
Drinking water has lots of benefits, from weight loss to clear skin. However, studies show that staying hydrated may also help reduce your risk of bladder cancer – by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and helping to flush them out of the bladder more quickly.
You can test that you are drinking enough water by checking that you are going to the toilet regularly and that your urine is not dark.
Eating just four Brazil nuts a day can help lower your rusk of bladder, lung and bowel cancer.
The clever snacks are a great source of selenium – an antioxidant which lowers the risk of the disease.
Add some extra garlic
It may not be to everyone’s taste, but cooking with garlic can make stomach cancer up to 12 times less likely.
This is because the bulbs contain sulphur compounds, which are believed the stimulate the immune system’s defences against cancer.
Upping your intake isn’t hard, as you can easily add it to soups, stir fries and even pasta sauces.
Don’t chill out
Many of us throw our fruit in the fridge to keep it fresh and tasty for longer. But studies have shown that chilled fruit contains fewer cancer-fighting nutrients than fruit kept at room temperature.
For example, tomatoes and peppers stored in a bowl rather than the fridge can contain double the betacarotene and up to 20 times more lycopene – both of which have been linked to lower rates of cancer.
Go to the dentist
Although your dentist may not be able to stop you getting cancer – they can be key in early detection.
Good oral hygiene is crucial for keeping head and neck cancer at bay, so it’s important to brush and floss daily.
And regular checkups can help spot anything unusual going on in your mouth or throat.
It’s recommended that you check in with your dentist or doctor if you have a mouth sore that won’t heal, a sore throat or hoarseness that doesn’t go away, or difficulty swallowing.
Protect your head
Sun cream alone isn’t enough to protect you from harmful rays from the sun. So, it’s important to make sure you wear the right clothing – especially a hat – when you’re out in the sun.
Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body. However, researchers have found that people with skin cancers on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the same cancer on other areas of the body.
Make red meat a treat
It’s recommended that we enjoy a diet low in red meat if we want to avoid carcinogens that could be harmful to our bowels.
Experts suggest sticking to around just 500g per week of meats such as beef or lamb – which is the equivalent to around two meals.
It’s also best to avoid processed meats such as ham, bacon an sausages all together.
You don’t have to be a gym bunny to get your heart pumping healthily. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can half your risk of developing cancer.
No matter how busy you are, it’s easy to fit a little activity into your day – whether that’s walking to work or cleaning the house.
Ditch your favourite candle
We all know that smoking is bad for your health. However, smoke from some scented candles can also cause dangerous fumes.
Researchers have found that when the fragrance limonene – which gives candles and air fresheners their lemony fresh scent – is released into the air, it reacts with ozone and creates formaldehyde.
So, it’s best to give them up all together or open the window to allow the limonene to disperse into the air.
There’s no getting away from it – eating your greens is crucial for a healthy body, as they are full of antioxidants.
Experts advise that you enjoy three cups of greens – such as kale, spinach, and collards – each week.
And the greener the leaves, the better. As darker leaves are packed with more chlorophyll and magnesium, which is found to lower the risk of bowel cancer.