Articles on infectious causes of cancer

How Cancer Scare Can Change Your Life

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Coping with cancerReceiving a diagnosis of cancer is probably one of the worst things happening to anybody. But, it need not be that scary. You are not alone. When you are diagnosed with cancer you are facing a total new and unknown world. Whether this is your first time with cancer, or you’re experiencing a recurrence, it’s most important to remember that you are not alone. There are many like you who are going through this treatment and successfully so. Take Emotional HelpEveryone deals with a cancer diagnosis differently. You could approach the others suffering from cancer to understand what they go through and prepare yourself for the future steps. It is better to approach a group than an individual as they provide you a broader perspective. There are many help groups that are actively involved in such activities and help new patients to cope with their disease.  You will be vulnerable at this time and it is important to avoid, as far as possible to make any key decisions about your treatment, while you are in the state of shock. Most people report that they could not retain or remember what the doctor told them.Treatment of Cancer.Many don’t know that cancer can be treated and in many cases it can be cured. Your doctor would advise you a combination of surgery, chemotherapy (injections) and radiotherapy. Sometimes other forms of treatment are advised. It is important that you go through all the subjected treatment without skipping any. It may take a few months to complete all of it. Hope for Cure.While cancer may be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face, there are reasons to be hopeful. Treatments for cancer has become more sophisticated and health professionals continue to deepen the understanding of cancer.Cure is possible for many cancers today. And beside medical treatments you have many other resources to draw on as well for your healing, e.g. complimentary medicine, integrative medicine, alternative therapies, yoga. Your Cancer Mentor, friends, family, your spiritual community or and other follow patients and survivors also there for you, to support you throughout your healing journey.

Prostrate Cancer: Early Detection Can Help Your Chances

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
In India, prostrate is the second leading site of cancer among males in large cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, third leading site of cancer in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai and it is among the top ten leading sites of cancers in the rest of the country. Usually, prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer and most people do not have major symptoms until the cancer reaches an advanced stage. Most men with prostate cancer die of other unrelated causes, and many never know that they have the disease.Factors that can increase the risk of prostate cancer include:Age: Risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Out of every 10 prostate cancers, 6 are detected in men above 60 years of age.Diet: Consumption of excess calcium through food (especially dairy foods) or supplements has been linked with higher risk of developing prostate cancer.Family history: Prostate cancer seems to run in families which suggest a genetic or inherited factor involved in its causation. Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome in which large bowel cancer is the most common feature, is caused by inherited gene changes that carry an increased risk for many cancers including prostate cancer.Screening and Early Detection    Early detection of cancer can often be done by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood sample. Another way to find prostate cancer early is the digital rectal exam (DRE).If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further tests are performed to see if there is a cancer. The  prostate cancer found as a result of screening with the PSA test or DRE, will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done. However, neither the PSA test nor the DRE is 100% accurate.Treating Prostate CancerNowadays, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy has become the standard of care for prostate cancer throughout the world. In this approach, the laparoscopic surgery is done using a robotic interface (called the da Vinci system). The surgeon sits at a control panel in the operating room and moves robotic arms to operate through several small incisions in the patient’s abdomen.Robotic prostatectomy has advantages over the open approach in terms of less pain, blood loss, and recovery time. For the surgeon, the robotic system provides more maneuverability and more precision when moving the instruments than standard laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP).

10 Symptoms of Cancer Which Nobody Should Ignore

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Cancer is an unwanted growth of cells that destroys the healthy environment of the body. The fear associated with it is not because of the disease itself, but, because of the delayed diagnosis due to lack of clear symptoms. Here are a list of commonly ignored symptoms which could be warning signs of cancer. Cancers are PAINLESS when they start and so they get ignored by the patient and doctors alike. Anemia: Tiredness in cancer is usually due anemia (lack of blood) and deficiency of nutrition. The cancer eats up most of nutrients in its race to grow quickly. Also there bleeding from cancer tissue that makes one anemic.Blood while passing stool: very often this is due to piles or similar causes. However, cancer of colon and rectum also causes this. When anyone has blood in stool, it is advisable to do colonoscopy to look inside of colon. Cancer of colon can cause change in bowel habit (like alternating constipation and diarrhea)Blood in urine: This always require further tests.  Cancer of kidney or urinary bladder or prostate (among men) can cause blood in urine. The bad part is this bleeding can be infrequent. This infrequency makes patients ignore this symptom. Even one episode of blood in urine needs through examination.Bleeding in between periods (women): Any bleeding that does not follow the usual pattern of menstrual period is a warning sign. Cancer of uterus or cervix can present with this kind of symptoms. Patients with cervical cancer also have bleeding after having sexual intercourse. A patch or wound inside mouth: Oral or mouth cancers are common in India. These cancers start as a patch or wound and progress over months. If diagnosed early they can be treated effectively. Lump or swelling: Cancers of breast and limb begin as painless lumps or swellings and progress over months. Any newly appearing lumps or swellings should be completely investigated. Loss of weight without trying: A sudden weight loss when you are not dieting needs investigations. As cancer consumes most of the nutrition that you take, you tend to loose wt. Loss of appetite and bloating food: this could be because of obstruction to bowel or because of a cancer secreting its toxic substances. Thorough examination is needed to reach a diagnosis. Lymph node enlargement: Lymph nodes are present everywhere in the body and function as filters. Most of the times they enlarge due to infections. The cancer cells also get filtered in this nodes and are trapped. They grow in these nodes and the nodes enlarge as a result of this growth. Trouble swallowing or vomiting after taking food are both warning signs of a cancers in the digestive tract. These need to be evaluated with endoscopic tests to identify the cause. Some patients have only persistent heart-burns which is misdiagnosed as gastritis and treated only for months before correct diagnosis reveals itself. Pain is the last feature of cancer. Do not wait for it.

Understanding Cancer Better

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
What is cancer?Cancer is the name given to a group of diseases that behave similarly. There is a wide range of cancers which are characterised by an uncontrolled division of body's cells without halting and thereby, spread into surrounding tissues pushing normal cells.Cancer can begin at any place in the human body, which is comprised trillions of cells. Regularly, human cells divide and shape into new cells as the body needs them. At the point when cells get senile or get harmed, they bite the dust, and new cells assume their position. When the organised procedure of cell growth fails, cancer begins. Cells turn out to be increasingly irregular in shape and size, and continue to survive even when they ought to die, and new cells are formed even when they are not required. These cells can multiply without any reason and may form what is called tumours. Cancerous tumours are harmful, which implies that they can spread into, or attack, adjacent tissues. Moreover, as these tumours develop, some cancer cells can escape and go to far off spots in the body through the blood or the lymph framework and shape new tumours a long way from the first tumours.Why worry about cancer?Cancers figure among the main causes of morbidity and mortality around the world, with roughly 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths every year. In the next two decades, it is estimated that the incidence of cancer will increase by 70% throughout the world. Among men, the five most common cancers in 2012 were lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer.In women, the five most common cancers are breast, colorectal, lung, cervix, and stomach cancer.Around 33% of cancer deaths can be prevented by behavioural and dietary changes. The risks include high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.Read my blogs on early detection of cancer and cancer prevention to understand how to reduce your risk.

The Invisible Killer: Know More About Cancer Causing Infections

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Many people are surprised to learn that cancer can be caused by an infection. Infections with certain viruses and bacteria have been recognized as risk factors for several types of cancer in humans.Worldwide, infections are linked to about 15% to 20% of cancers. This percentage is even higher in developing countries, but it is lower in the developed countries. This is partly because certain infections are more common in developing countries, and partly because some other risk factors for cancer, such as obesity, are more common in developed countries.Hepatitis Causing Liver CancerPeople who are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) virus may develop a chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis. The damage that results increases the risk of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). The risk of liver cancer is greater for people who have chronic HBV or HCV infection than for the general population. These viruses are transmitted by unsafe sex or unsafe blood products. Presently HBV can be prevented by vaccination. There is no vaccine for HCV.HPV InfectionHuman papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection with most sexually active men and women being exposed to the virus at some point during their lifetime. HPV can cause cervical and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (called oropharyngeal cancer). This infection can be prevented by taking a vaccine which is presently indicated for young women to prevent cervical cancer.Stomach CancerHelicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria which infects stomach causing gastritis can damage the inner layer of stomach. This damage can lead to cancer over years. H. pylori infection is common in developing countries and is spread by unhygienic food. There are tests to diagnose this and treatment to cure the infection. Prevention is by maintaining food hygiene and quality.Spread of These CancersMany of the infections that influence cancer risk can be passed from person to person, but cancer itself cannot. A healthy person can’t “catch” cancer from someone who has it.So to conclude, there is an unequal burden of infection-related cancers among the developing countries. This is particularly true for cervical cancer caused by certain genital papilloma viruses, liver cancer caused by the hepatitis B and C viruses, and stomach cancer caused by H. pylori.  Even though the infections described here can raise a person’s risk of certain types of cancer, most people with these infections never develop cancer. The risk of developing cancer is also influenced by other factors. For example, infection with Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria might increase your risk of stomach cancer, but what you eat, whether or not you smoke, and other factors also affect your risk. 

Head And Neck Cancer Is A Preventable Cancer

Dr. Suhail Sayed, Surgical Oncologist
What are cancers of Head and Neck?Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). Head and Neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world and India constitutes 30-40 per cent of all cancers seen among men mainly in their productive age group.What are the causes of Head and Neck Cancer?The most common causes are consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Smokeless tobacco, such as gutka or paan, is a major issue in India. These agents, when taken together,increase the person’s cancer risk by eight or 10 times, accounting for 90 percent of oral cancers and 80 percent of throat cancers in our population. We are the “mouth cancer capital of world” owing to this habit. Alcohol often taken together with cigarette increase the cancer risks by 38 times. Apart from these common causes other causes like poor oral and dental hygiene, loose dentures and some viruses (Ebstien-Barr andHuman Papilloma) are also known to cause this cancer.What are the symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers?The symptoms depend on the site where this cancer develops. This cancer usually presents with a non-healing mouth ulcer, white or red patch, reduced mouth opening, difficulty in swallowing or neck swelling. All these symptoms if persist for more than two weeks need to be evaluated.How are head and neck cancers diagnosed?A thorough physical examination combined with imaging studies (CT, MRI or PET CT scan) and biopsy is mandatory for diagnosing these cancers. Based on these findings the disease can be properly staged and treatment planned accordingly. Early diagnosis by biopsy can lead to better cure rates.How are head and neck cancers treated?The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health. Treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments. Early stage (1 and 2)patients have a 60% to 95% chance of cure with local treatment alone (surgery or radiotherapy), but patients with more advanced (Stage 3 & 4) disease need a more aggressive treatment (Surgery with chemo radiation) and have a greater than 50% risk of recurrence or development of disease spread throughout the body. Therefore it is very important that the disease is picked up early and patients should avoid delay in treatment. Many patients fear of the change in appearance or speech and delay treatment by taking different indigenous drugs and present to us in an advanced stage. But in the present era with the availability of microvascular surgery and Image Guided Radio therapy (IMRT,IGRT), excellent cosmesis and functional rehabilitation of patients can be offered. Thus majority of head neck cancer patients today have a good quality of life after treatment.How can I reduce my risk of developing head and neck cancers?The most important point which needs to be understood by our population is that this cancer is “preventable”. There are several policy measures of tobacco control being implemented at the national and international level to fight the battle against tobacco. However, these efforts may not directly benefit the current tobacco user as nicotine in tobacco is very addictive, making quitting difficult. It’s the will power of the person himself which plays an important role in quitting tobacco. It’s basically the first three days that the person has a severe craving for smoking/chewing, if he is able to control his mind for this period the chances of quitting the habit increase by 80%.

Gynaecological Cancer: Do Not Ignore the Early Signs!

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Today is the world cancer day and the theme of this year is "we can, I can." Yes we all can battle the cancer. But the irony is that majority of women ignore early signs and symptoms of cancer and do not consult doctors in time. Some of these cancers are actually preventable if proper action is taken.Ovarian cancer What will you do if you feel gaseous distension (gas, bloating), acidity, constipation, change in bowel habit, decreased appetite, feeling of full stomach, weight loss and abdominal swelling? majority of the women ignore these symptoms and take antacids before it is too late. But these are often symptoms of early ovarian cancer and thus if you ignore these symptoms, you are harming yourself. Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat if detected at a late stage. But at an early stage, it is curable. So, don't ignore these symptoms.Who are the women at risk of ovarian cancer - women who are not having a baby, who themselves or have close relatives (sister/ mother/ daughter) with a history of cancer in breast/ ovary/ bowel/ uterus etc. But some women are at a lower risk like those using oral contraceptive pills- ocp (the birth control pills can reduce the risk by 50%) and those who have had tubal ligation (permanent family planning methods).If you have such risk factors, you must not avoid any such above mentioned symptoms. Rather you should consult gynecologist early. Ovarian cancer can be detected by ultrasound, ct scan, some blood tests (ca 125) and in some cases biopsy may be needed. And remember, majority of the ovarian diseases are not cancer but you must be sure that it's not cancer causing your problem.If ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the treatment is surgery (to be done by expert personnels) and most of the women need chemotherapy. Ovarian cancer is common in elderly women but it can affect younger women also. So, all the women should take care of the above mentioned symptoms.Cancer of cervixCervix is the mouth of the uterus. In our country, this is the commonest cancer affecting women whereas it is uncommon in the western countries too. The irony is that women die of this disease whereas it is totally preventable.It is caused by a virus (human papilloma virus- hpv) that is sexually transmitted (so it affects sexually active women). But it has a peculiar feature that actually occurs, before cancer, called precancerous stage - when the cells of cervix show some changes that we can detect and treat. So, if women regularly consult a doctor (when they do not have problems), we can check if she is at risk of cervical cancer or not, by some simple tests (pap smear, hpv testing etc). If such changes are found (that is not cancer) we can treat her so that she does not develop cancer. These methods of detection, before disease occurs or before an individual feels that she is having disease, is called 'screening'.Another method of preventing, is vaccination of hpv, that should be given to the adolescent girls before they become sexually active. It can be given too older women (who are sexually active), although the response is somehow lower than if given at an early age. But vaccination is not alternative to screening. So, both screening and vaccination should be done to prevent this cancer.Even if detected at an early stage, it is totally curable. So, women should not ignore symptoms of excessive vaginal discharge (remember, all excessive discharges are not due to cancer), abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding occuring unpredictably in between menstruation, bleeding after intercourse etc.It is treated by surgery and some cases may need radiation also.Cancer of uterusCancer of uterus is common after 50 years of age (although can occur in early years also). It is the commonest gynecological cancer in the western world. It mainly occurs in women who are obese (excessive weight), having diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure), not having any baby, who are having personal or family history of cancer in uterus/ breast/ ovary/ bowel.It can be prevented by taking ocp (birth control pils) and controlling weight. In many cases, it is also preceeded by some precancerous changes (hyperplasia) that can be detected by ultrasonography and if needed small biopsy procedure.The common symptoms are abnormal heavy bleeding and bleeding after attaining menopause (after totall stoppage of menses). So, any abnormal menstrual bleeding must be properly investigated.It is usually well curable if treated early - by surgery and in few cases, may need radiation, chemo or hormone therapy.Cancer of vulvaThe external genitalia of female is known as vulva. Cancer in vulva is relatively uncommon but still it can happen, especially those who are having diabetes, are HIV positive or have poor hygiene.Never ignore any symptoms of excessive itching in your private parts. It may be the early symptom of vulval cancer. Some cases, patient may have ulcer or tumour or bleeding.It can be detected easily on examination by a doctor and then biopsy. It is treated well with surgery and some cases, radiation may be needed.Summary: Majority of the gynaecological cancers are preventable. They can be diagnosed early if women consult doctor at an early stage. Majority of them respond to treatment.

Cervical Cancer Is Preventable! And Here Is What You Need To Know!

Dr. Suman Singh, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
What is Cervical Cancer?Cervical Cancer is cancer of the "Cervix", also known as the "mouth of the uterus".In India, it is the 2nd most common cancer in women. This cancer is usually diagnosed too late, in often incurable stages because it shows no symptoms till its too late.The silent killer.Did you know? In India …About 122,844  new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in India Cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most common cause of female cancer in IndiaAbout 67,477 new cervical cancer deaths occur annually in IndiaCervical cancer kills  One Women/8 Minutes  & is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women in IndiaHow come you don't hear of it?Because no one likes to talk about it. It is embarrassing,painful and commonly misunderstood. Which is why we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge. It is the first step in learning how to protect yourself and the women you care for.How does one get Cervical Cancer?Cervical cancer is caused by a highly contagious virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) when it infects the cervix. The virus is very common and is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact of the genital area. In fact, it has been shown that this viral infection is so common that 80% of all women would have had this infection at least once in their lifetimes by the time they are 50 years old. This is irrespective of race, personal hygiene,diet, education level, personal habits etc. Cervical Cancer is not hereditary.Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Causes:Who is likely to get Cervical Cancer?Every normal, sexually active woman is at risk for cervical cancer. It affects women at the prime of their lives when they are indispensable for their families.The risk for HPV infection that eventually leads to cervical cancer begins in adolescence and continues into adulthood. But even though it is the woman who gets cervical cancer, the disease affects her whole family if she loses her health or in many cases, her life. Imagine losing a mom, wife,sister in the prime of her life……...Can Cervical Cancer be prevented?Now it can!The only way to prevent Cervical Cancer before it can even happen is to get vaccinated.How does the vaccine work?Vaccination works by getting your body to produce antibodies against the HPV virus.These antibodies protect your body from an HPV infection by fighting the virus when it tries to attack the cervix. Since HPV infection is the only cause of Cervical Cancer,vaccination against the virus protects against Cervical Cancer.Who should take the vaccine and when?Ideally, the vaccine should be taken as early as possible after the age of 9 years but girls and women of any age up to 45 can benefit from this vaccine. Expectant mothers should not take the vaccine during their pregnancy. Talk to a doctor for advice.What is vaccine and how is the dose schedule?There are two  vaccines   one is  HPV2 (16,18 )  and HPV4 (6,11,16,18 ).HP4 (6,11,16,18 ) prevent Cervical ,Vulvar and Vaginal Cancer and Ano-Genital Warts. HPV4  vaccine is  safe during lactation.Vaccine is given in three doses as follows:  2 months and  6 months.(0,2,6 month).In special cases (ex: impending marriage or travel, planning a pregnancy soon etc.), the doctor can "abbreviate" the schedule to 0,1and 4 months.How soon will the protection work?The full protection comes into effect usually within a month of the last dose. This varies from individual to individual, depending on their own body's immune system. It is important to complete the schedule.How long will the protection last?This is not a relatively new vaccine and has been around for general use since 2006 and is now used in 135  countries and 178 Million doses administered  world wide. It has been tested for a lot longer through clinical trials world wide. So far the data has shown that vaccinated women have been significantly protected from the disease since they got the vaccine ( 10 yrs according to published data).The WHO, CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)  and various organizations  do not recommend  booster  dose . There is a good  life-long protection as well.  The WHO has recommended to governments and the Immunization Committee of the IAP has in the meanwhile recommended to individuals – If you can afford it, take it.What about side effects?The vaccine has been studied and is generally safe and well tolerated. Like many vaccines, pain at the site of the injection is not uncommon. Talk to a doctor for full details or any other questions on side effects. Cervical Cancer is a serious and life threatening disease.Where can I get more information?The best source of medical information is a qualified and well informed doctor,preferably a specialist. A Gynecologist (or a Pediatrician for your daughter older than 9 yrs) is the person you should talk to. Half knowledge, hearsay and articles / opinions by biased or inexpert opinion leaders can mislead you. Please consult a doctor.

Cervical Cancer Facts That Women Must Know!

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
We generally shy away from discussing anything related to sexual practices and menstrual hygiene due to our personal and social inhibitions. As these issues are considered as tabooed in developing countries like India, it is quite a task to educate people, especially women about cervical cancer which results mainly from undesirable sexual habits and poor menstrual hygiene.  Being one of the easily preventable as well as curable cancers, creating awareness about the disease has become the need of the hour. This article sheds light on cervical cancer, its causes, early detection and prevention.What is cervical cancer? Who is prone to it?It’s an uncontrolled, unwanted growth of cervical cells. Cervix is a narrow lower part of the uterus or womb. It connects the uterus with vagina. Women in the age group of 30 to 50 are most prone to this disorder.What are cervical cancer symptoms and signs?Bleeding post sexual intercourseBleeding in between menses or after menopauseExcessive white dischargeWhat causes cervical cancer?The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified as the major contributing factor to cervical cancer. It might get transmitted sexually.Early age at the time of the first sexual intercourseMultiple sexual partnersHistory of sexually transmitted diseasesFirst pregnancy at an early ageFour or more pregnanciesPoor menstrual and genital hygieneHow can it be detected?Pap smear test is an easy way to detect abnormal cells in the cervix. Every woman should take a Pap smear test once in two years.How to prevent cervical cancer?The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to have the HPV vaccine at the age of 12 or 13. The vaccine can be taken upto the age of 35. Women should have a regular Pap tests done once they turn 21 or 2 years after the first sexual intercourse. Moreover, they should maintain better vaginal and menstrual hygiene.With early detection and prevention techniques at their disposal, protecting themselves against cervical cancer is pretty much in women’s hands. So ladies, make the best use of available practices and facilities and safeguard yourself and every important woman in your life.

5 Tips to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Dr. Manpreet Singh Bindra, Oncologist
Persistent infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common way of developing cervical cancer, with young women being the most susceptible to infections with the virus. To reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer: 1. Reduce your chances of getting infected with the virus: Young girls and women who engage in sexual activity with multiple partners should use condoms. In case of repeated vaginal infections, visit your healthcare professional for screening.2. Get a Pap test done every 3 years: Pap tests simply involve swabbing the cervix with a speculum to a sample then looking at the cells in the sample under a microscope to check for abnormal changes. Cervical cancer is one of those cancers that can be cured so regular pap testing is VERY important.3. Quit smoking: The nicotine and other components found in cigarettes are able to pass through your blood stream and can become deposited in the cervix where they can alter the growth of cervical cells. Smoking can also suppress your immune system making it more susceptible to HPV infections. You can dramatically reduce your risk of smoking if you give it up.4. Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet is one that is rich in unrefined food (white foods, processed meat, high-sugar biscuits and confectionary), fruits and vegetables. A diet consisting of whole foods provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants that work together to nourish your cells and keep them health.5. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of insulin resistance, which may lead to type II diabetes and increase the risk of developing cancer. Women who have a waist circumference over 35 inches and men with a waist circumference over 40 inches are considered high-risk for a variety of diseases, including cancers. Check your waist circumference and lose weight if you need to by eating a healthy diet and performing moderate-high intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.