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Advice on World Cancer Day

As part of the global campaign against cancer, specialists from Belgorod State University address ways of mitagating against certain cancers, and detecting the disease

4th February is World Cancer Day. Medical professionals are engaged in a constant battle to improve our health, and a healthy lifestyle is a good defence against diseases including cancer.

There are two types of tumour, benign and malignant. While not every lump or skin blemish is malignant (life-threatening), you must visit a doctor when they appear. A malignant tumour is a group of cells that are dividing and replicating constantly, and their growth can eventually squeeze or destroy vital organs. They can also spread through your body via your blood stream (known as metastasis). There seems to be no obvious reason for the onset of cancer, but environment and diet appear to play a significant role in concentrations of particular cancers. Some causes include nuclear radiation, ultra violet radiation (sunlight), and toxic chemical contamination (carcinogens). It is also thought that certain viruses may also cause cancer. Symptoms of cancer include:
1. Sudden weight loss. Cancerous cells can disrupt the normal absorption of nutrients from food and/or cause a loss of appetite.
2. Fever. As your body fights the cancer cells, the immune system uses the fever to try to kill off the infection. The fever is not part of the preliminary symptoms, and can be a sign that the disease has progressed.

3. Weakness. As the cancer progresses it uses up your energy in different ways.

4. Pain. This occurs throughout the course of the disease, gradually increasing as the cancer advances

5. Changes to your skin. The disease disrupts pigmentation as well as everything else.

Remember! These symptoms are not necessarily cancer-related. See your doctor for advice.

Prevention is better than cure. Here are four factors thought to help protect against cancer.

1. Exercise. Try to live an active lifestyle.

2. Positive mental attitude. Depression causes self-destructive behaviour.

3. Fresh air. Try to avoid polluted spaces.

4. Diet. Proper nutrition is gained from fresh fruit and vegetables. Green vegetables are good for digestion and the bowels. Citrus fruits and legumes, courgettes and tomatoes contain carotenoids, which help prevent lung, skin, head and neck cancers. Berries and beets (beetroot, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and red grapes) contain anthocyanides which help with detoxifying your liver and blood, as do cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage and sprouts). Fruits containing Vitamin C are generally good for your health. Nuts and fruits such as pomegranate contain ellagic acid, which is known to retard cancer cell growth rate. In short, avoid processed foods and where possible, always try to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing


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