Cancer continues to be the second cause of death after heart disease in developed and developing countries. According to Globocan (Global Cancer Observatory) statistics that collect cancer data all over the world; In 2020, 19.3 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer; 10 million patients also died of cancer. In 2040, these numbers are predicted to increase by 50 percent. According to the data of the World Health Organization; In 40 percent of countries, cancer diagnosis could be made at a later stage due to late admission to health units during the Covid-19 pandemic. The reasons for this are that patients either have difficulty in accessing the treatment, or disrupt their examinations or stop their treatment early due to concerns about the infection. Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Yeşim Eralp also stated that there were serious slowdowns during the pandemic in cancer research, which is a very important source for developments in treatment, and said, “We expect to see a serious increase in cancer burden due to these setbacks in the coming years.”
Eralp pointed out that our erroneous habits also play an important role in the increase in the prevalence of cancer in the world, “The most important factors that triggered cancer during the pandemic process were sedentary life, tobacco and alcohol use, and malnutrition. In addition to being responsible for 85 percent of lung cancers, tobacco use causes many deadly cancers such as head and neck, pancreatic and bladder cancer. Malnutrition, heavy alcohol consumption and lack of exercise are also thought to increase the risk of cancer by 30-50 percent, ”he said. So which habits of ours almost invite cancer?
Here are 10 wrong habits that cause cancer …
Using tobacco and tobacco products
Apart from nicotine contained in tobacco, cigarette smoke triggers cancer formation by causing cell structures and protective immune shields to be disrupted throughout the passages and throughout the body due to hundreds of harmful substances in the content of cigarette smoke. Tobacco and tobacco products that play a role in the development of 14 cancer types in total, together with deadly cancers such as head and neck, lung, bladder and pancreas; It is responsible for 25-30% of cancer-related deaths and 87% of lung cancer-related deaths. Compared to non-smokers, men who smoke are 23 times more likely to have lung cancer, and women 17 times more.
Living still, eating western style
The risk of colon cancer increases by 45 percent with the intense consumption of saturated fatty acids and red meat, which are described as ‘Western-style nutrition’, together with a sedentary lifestyle. Due to the obesity brought about by this type of diet and lifestyle, the risk of uterine, breast, pancreatic and stomach cancers increases by 30 percent.
Consuming too much alcohol
Serious alcohol consumption; It plays an important role in the development of various types of cancer such as esophagus, breast and liver cancer. For example, in the studies; It has been shown that the risk of breast cancer increased by 23 percent, colon cancer by 17 percent, and esophagus cancer by 220 percent with alcohol consumption of 14 grams (360 ml of beer, 150 ml of wine, 45 ml of whiskey, raki, etc.) and more per day.
Frequently cooking meat / vegetables on the barbecue
Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Yeşim Eralp, stating that carbonized nutrients contain pyrolyzate and various amino acids that are harmful to the body, “These compounds increase the risk especially for stomach and intestinal system cancers,” he says.
Unprotected sunbathing for a long time
Unprotected sunbathing for a long time; Due to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, it paves the way for the uncontrolled division of the DNA structures of the cells in the lower layers of the skin (dermis), suppression of protective immunity, and in this way, melanoma and other skin cancers. So much so that encountering 6 or more severe sunburn before the age of 25 increases the risk of melanoma 2.7 times and other skin cancers 1.7-2 times. Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Yeşim Eralp warned that tanning with tanning devices can increase the risk of skin cancer up to 6 times and continues as follows: “To prevent cancer development, stay away from the solarium, not going out between 10.00-16.00 hours when the harmful rays of the sun are intense, SPF 30 during sun exposure and it is necessary to use a protective cover. “
Choosing packaged foods and processed food products containing preservatives
“Canned foods with nitrite and nitrate added so that they do not spoil, and food products containing azo type dyes are directly carcinogenic.” warned Prof. Dr. Yeşim Eralp lists other products that increase the risk of cancer as follows: “In addition, plastic coated products containing bisphenol prepare the ground for breast and prostate cancers by transferring this substance to food. Consumption of products containing saturated fatty acid, refined sugar and flour also triggers oxidation and inflammation, causing cancer. Highly sugary sweets can also trigger cancer by stimulating cell division and growth pathways through excessive secretion of the hormone insulin. “
Exaggerating beverages containing sweeteners
In the studies carried out; Large consumption of beverages containing sweeteners; It is associated with some hematological cancers through intake of large amounts of aspartame.
Inability to manage stress
“Studies have not shown that excessive stress alone triggers cancer. However, the direct relationship between bad habits such as excessive tobacco and alcohol consumption and cancer has been revealed ”. Dr. “It is very important to sleep well, to be as active as possible, to take time for regular exercise three days a week in order to avoid stress,” says Eralp.
Our wrong habits such as sleeping while the TV is on and staying up late, which negatively affect the quality of our sleep patterns also increase the risk of cancer. Melatonin; It is a hormone responsible for regulating the sleep cycle and the biological clock of the body, referred to as the ‘circadian rhythm’. Due to our wrong habits related to sleep, the epiphysis, which is a small organ in the middle of the brain, disrupts the secretion of the hormone melatonin and triggers the formation of cancer.
Sleeping with a cell phone at the bedside
The cancer relationship between electromagnetic radiation source devices such as cell phones and microwave ovens has long been discussed as a socially fearful issue. Data in past animal experiments that such non-ionizing radiation could lead to a hematological cancer called ‘myeloma’ or soft tissue tumors raised this issue. It has been suggested that radiofrequency radiation can trigger cancer by accelerating sugar metabolism in nearby tissue or by dilation and heat exchange in the vessels. Prof. Dr. Stating that epidemiological studies have not proven their direct relationship with cancer on a population basis, Eralp says, “Nevertheless, it is recommended not to sleep on our bedside and to avoid prolonged close contact with the device by using headphones while talking, to prevent a possible cancer”.