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© Food – a fact of life 2009 Diet and cancer prevention Extension
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Learning objectives To understand how cancer develops. To know about the prevalence of cancer and the most common types of cancer in the UK. To recognise the risk factors for cancer and how to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 What is cancer? Cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the body develop and increase rapidly. The abnormal cells can also spread to other parts of the body and multiply. Cancer can occur in different parts of the body.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Cancer in the UK Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the UK. It affects more older people than younger people. In the UK, the most common cancers in men are lung cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. The most common cancers in women are lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Risk factors for cancer Age: Cells are more likely to become damaged as the body ages. Genetics: People with a family history of a particular cancer are more likely to develop it themselves. Environment: Tobacco smoke, diet, alcohol, radiation are some lifestyle factors which may influence the risk of developing some cancers. Hormones: The risk of some cancers is linked to levels of certain hormones in the body. Infection: Certain cancers are linked to viral infection.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Diet and cancer Dietary factors may protect against or increase the risk of cancer. High intakes of fruit and vegetables have shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, e.g. lung cancer and stomach cancer. Extra energy from the diet, if not used through activity, increases the risk of different cancers, such as in the oesophagus, pancreas, colon and breast. Alcohol may also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, e.g. breast cancer and cancers in the mouth and oesophagus.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Fruit and vegetables Fruit and vegetables provide large amounts of antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage and becoming abnormal. Examples of antioxidants include carotene in carrots and vitamin C in oranges. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. Good sources include nuts, seeds and vegetable oil. Fruit and vegetables are also rich sources of fibre, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Carcinogens Carcinogens are substances which can start the process of cancer. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens which cause lung cancer. Carcinogens can also be present in food, but usually in smaller amounts, so the risk is relatively low. Carcinogens found in foods may be substances that are formed naturally, due to contamination (e.g. aflatoxins in mouldy peanuts), or during cooking or processing (e.g. smoked foods).
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Energy balance Physical inactivity, overweight and obesity have been strongly linked to an increased risk of some cancers, such as those in the colon, pancreas, kidney and breast. It is important to balance the energy from food with the energy used through activity.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Healthy weight Being overweight and obese increases the risk of some cancers, as well as other diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is important to keep a healthy weight to maintain health.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Body Mass Index The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a good indicator for adults to see if they are underweight, overweight or a healthy weight. To calculate BMI (kg/m 2 ), divide weight (kg) by height (m) x height (m). Recommended BMI range Underweightless than 18.5 Normal18.5 - less than 25 Overweight25 - less than 30 Obese30 - 40 Very obeseover 40
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Cancer prevention The World Cancer Research Fund has released 8 prevention strategies for cancer. 1.Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight. 2.Be physically active as part of everyday life. 3.Limit consumption of energy dense foods. 4.Eat mostly foods of plant origin. 5.Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat. 6.Limit alcoholic drinks. 7.Limit consumption of salt. 8.Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Review of the learning objectives To understand how cancer develops. To know about the prevalence of cancer and the most common types of cancer in the UK. To recognise the risk factors for cancer and how to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 For more information visit www.foodafactoflife.org.uk
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