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cancer and diet modifications

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The link between poor diet and physical inactivity is one that is closely attributed to many diseases and none more so than cancer. Over the past few decades, cancer has been proven to be the highest killing disease, causing the mortality rate of humans associated with illnesses to rise within the United Kingdom (cancerresearch.org.uk). This essay aims to discuss the relevant physical activity and diet modifications which can be undertaken in an attempt to prevent cancer. Stuart Galloway (2008) defines cancer as an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells which are not destroyed by the bodies defence mechanism. There are various types, originating in many ways, affecting different parts of the body, containing different development courses and requiring a range of treatments. Cancer accounted for 154,162 deaths in the UK in the year 2006. Deaths from cancer of the lung, bowel, breast and prostate together accounted for 47% of all cancer deaths in the UK (cancerresearch.org.uk). The current leading type of cancer is of the lung for both males and females. ...read more.


Longnecker (1994) also states that, "alcohol consumption increases endogenous oestrogen levels thus reducing intake of alcohol may reduce breast cancer". In opposition, fibre intake studies illustrating a reduction in colon cancer presented by cancer research UK; a large American study conducted by Mai et al (2003) looking at fibre's relation to preventing colon cancer stated that, "fibre intake is not related to risk of colon cancer in older women at the lower end of the spectrum of intake levels". Nonetheless, Ames et al (1994) reiterates the aforementioned consumption of adequate fruit and vegetable intake that is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, emphasising on the recommended five a day. Nevertheless, the antioxidants contained within fruit and vegetables are all unique, as a result, it is unlikely that all compounds sharing antioxidant properties would have similar effects against all types of cancer. In addition, McCullough et al (2005) determined Vitamin D and calcium intake reduces the risk of colon cancer which reinforces Lipkins' (1995) ...read more.


However, there was no association between physical activity and rectal cancer. Another form of preventing colon cancer is to perform moderate physical activity as too much and you are at a greater risk of colon cancer if <4.2 MJ -week�� (AEE) at intensity of 23-27 KJ��. Breast cancer has strong links to family history, diet, early menarche, late menopause, age at first childbirth, exposure to oestrogen's and physical inactivity. Longnecker (1994) believes that exercise may lower breast cancer through influencing hormone levels and steadying cumulative oestrogen. Physical activity also improves your immune function, allows for body fat reduction and releases metabolic hormones such as insulin and IGF-1. On the other hand, physical activity can disrupt the menstrual cycle which is not protective and also releases testosterone which increases the risk of prostate cancer (Ames et al 1994). In conclusion, cancer incidence tracks patterns of behaviour and lifestyle habits. A healthy diet combined with moderate physical activity is among the biggest factors which should reduce the initiation, promotion and progression of some cancers. However, the contradicting views of many of the aforementioned statements clearly illustrate the need for further understanding. ...read more.

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