“As part of our Balanced Lifestyle campaign, we invite all to develop a balanced lifestyle that will help you to promote your health and even lower your cancer risk,” says CANSA CEO, Sue Janse van Rensburg, herself a cancer survivor of 29 years.
“The knowledge that only 10% of cancers result from hereditary factors and the rest are caused by the environment is encouraging,” she says. “This means that by making smart lifestyle choices and avoiding known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), you not only improve your overall health, you also reduce your cancer-related risk.” See “Cancer Reality Check” & “Tips to Reduce Your Cancer Risk” Infographic 2013 here…
Examples of smart choices include, avoiding tobacco products, limiting or even avoiding alcohol, getting regular exercise, eating healthy and reducing your exposure to the sun, as well as going for regular cancer screening tests.
Making the Case for a Balance Lifestyle
The importance of a healthier or more balanced lifestyle may be better illustrated by placing the spotlight on the type of cancer most common among South African men and women. Colorectal cancer affects the colon or the large intestine or bowel.
While research shows that your risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age, having inflammatory bowel disease and genetic disposition, researchers also firmly believe that diet and lifestyle play an important role in its prevention.
Replace the Bad with the Good
The high intake of red and processed meats, as well as highly refined grains, starches and sugars, all increase, for example, your risk for Colorectal cancer. This risk is reduced when these ‘culprits’ are replaced with fish and nuts as the main source of protein; unsaturated fats as the primary source of fat; as well as unrefined grains, legumes and fruit as the primary source of carbohydrates. Fibre that is found in whole grain products and cereals, fruit and vegetables is also likely to help provide protection against bowel cancer.
While reconsidering your diet, you would also be wise to watch your salt intake. Rather substitute salt with fresh herbs and spices. Research has shown a strong connection between eating large amounts of foods preserved by salting and pickling with an increased risk for stomach cancer and other diseases like hypertension. Here fast foods and processed foods are the biggest culprits.
“By making smart choices around your diet, fitness, weight and lifestyle in general, you significantly lower your risk of developing Colorectal cancer, and other forms of cancer. It’s well worth the effort,” says Janse van Rensburg.
Need to Balance Your Lifestyle?
If you need advice on how to improve your lifestyle, visit our Balanced Lifestyle section of the website for more information, nutritional leaflets and posters . Here you will find out more about how to make smart choices and what you need to do to reduce your cancer risk.
CANSA’s publication called ‘Life is Beautiful’ was produced to make essential translated research available to members of the public. The 65-page full-colour booklet covers important topics such as balanced lifestyle, healthy living, nutrition (where the ‘good, bad and ugly’ in our kitchens are dealt with), physical activity, carcinogens, and a history of both cancer and CANSA. It contains a foreword by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health as well as recipes by celebrities like Evita and radio personality and cancer survivor, Jeremy Mansfield.
Get CANSA Active!
Be active and healthy – have some Feel Good Fun, while raising awareness and funds for CANSA and the fight against cancer in SA.
Our CANSA Active Campaign gives you the opportunity to participate in your favourite sporting activity or race, while raising funds online to support our holistic care & support to those affected by cancer.
The campaign also aims to raise awareness re living a balanced lifestyle & playing sport safely in the sun, as more than 30% of cancers can be prevented by making smart choices with regards to diet and lifestyle.