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Useful tips

10 rules to fight cancer

Getting the right diet and a healthy lifestyle are the key principles to prevent the development of cancer. The following are 10 simple rules that should be followed every day:

Hands breaking a cigarette, an invitation not to smoke

1. Do not smoke

If you smoke, quit smoking and do not use other forms of tobacco. Tobacco consumption is the most important avoidable cause of cancer.

Close-up of running feet suggesting  exercise as a gold rule

2. Keep the right weight

Do some physical activity every day and try to keep you body mass index (BMI) at 24 or less.

Dish with hamburger and fries, symbol of high-calorie food

3. High-calorie foods and sugary drinks

High-calorie foods (with the exception of seeds and dried fruits which should be taken in the right amounts) and sugary drinks (including fruit juices) contribute to overweight and obesity, which are established risk factors for many diseases. The consumption of sweets and high glycemic index foods should be also reduced significantly, in order to keep insulin at the lowest possible levels.

Red meat cuts

4. Red meat and sausages

According to experts, excessive consumption of red meat increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer. It is advisable to eat moderate amounts of red meat, no more than once or twice a week, and to consume processed meat (salted meat, sausages and canned meat) on an occasional basis.

Red wine poured in a glass

5. Limit alcohol consumption

The consumption of alcoholic drinks may be an important risk factor for the development of cancer. Men should drink no more than 2 glasses of wine or beer per day, while women should drink one glass of wine or beer per day.

Pineapple, oranges, pears, grapes, kiwis, apples, bananas, prunes, apricots, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries: fresh and healthy fruit

6. Fruit and vegetables

Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day: foods of vegetable origin are not only poor in fat and rich in fiber, but they also contain many beneficial substances. Therefore, they should be consumed abundantly on a daily basis.

A young woman on the beach sunbathing with a hat and sunglasses to protect herself

7. Ultraviolet (UV) rays

Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, use sun protection and do not use tanning beds or sun lamps. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause damage to the skin, which may lead to the development of cancer over time.

Doctor with a stethoscope around the neck

8. Call your doctor promptly

Call your doctor promptly if you suspect something abnormal (for example, if you notice a nodule in your breast, a skin ulceration that does not heal, a change in the shape or color of an existing mole, the presence of blood in your stools or a significant weight loss).

A woman who undergoes a periodic screening

9. Take part in screening programs

Women over 25 years of age: cervical cancer; women and men over 50 years of age: bowel cancer; women over 50 years of age: breast cancer. Screening programs can identify certain types of cancer before their symptoms appear, when they can be treated more successfully.

Vaccine injection on the arm

10. Take part in vaccination programs

Certain types of cancer are caused by infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria. To this end, the vaccinations against Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) for newborns and against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for girls can be an effective strategy.

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