If you have experienced taking care of someone with stomach cancer, you will know that this disease causes extreme amounts of pain and discomfort for the patient. Stomach cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore, but with significant changes in lifestyle, this cancer can be avoided. There are numerous competent surgeons in Singapore, but undergoing health surgeries should always be the last resort. Here are six simple lifestyle changes that can save you from the risk of stomach cancer:
- Stop smoking. Cigarette smoking has been found to be a leading cause of not just stomach cancer, but other cancer types as well. Smoking damages our DNA which weakens the body’s defense system against cancer. Damaged cells are also likely to turn cancerous. It is never too late to quit smoking, but the sooner you quit, the better.
- Avoid salty foods. Be mindful of the amount of salty foods that you eat because excessive salt damages stomach lining and causes lesions. These lesions, when left untreated, may develop as stomach cancer. Furthermore, salt worsens infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is a leading cause of stomach cancer.
- Avoid smoked or processed meats. Processed meats contain toxins that harm the stomach, so the risk of cancer in the lower stomach increases by 18% for every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily. That is equivalent to four bacon strips or one hot dog. Instead of consuming processed meats, increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meat for a healthier diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Excessive weight that comes with obesity puts too much pressure on the abdomen, which pressurizes the sphincter at the top of the stomach, releasing acids that cause inflammation to the stomach. Obesity also causes the release of hormones and chemicals that disrupt the natural functions of the stomach.
- Avoid long exposures to dusts and fumes. Regular and prolonged airborne exposure to cement dust, quartz dust, and diesel exhaust has been shown to significantly increase the risk of stomach cancer. Avoid exposure to these chemicals. If unavoidable, make sure to wear appropriate masks to avoid inhalation of these chemicals.
- Drink moderately. Lastly, alcohol consumption should be limited since excessive alcohol consumption has also been found to damage the stomach due to the carcinogens contained in alcoholic beverages. Excessive alcohol consumption also weakens the body’s ability to break down and absorb nutrients that can potentially fight cancer.
Taking care of someone with stomach cancer is extremely harrowing. Spare your loved ones the pain by following these lifestyle changes for a healthier future for you and your family.