The Social Bases of Cancer

Today I was reading my sociology textbook. The chapter was called “The Social Bases of Cancer”. Basically what the chapter was talking about was how yes, cancer can happen to anyone, but there are many social factors that can cause it. It talks about wealth and status, and how people with more money and power in a society are proven to have lower risks of developing cancer. People with less money are the people who deal with stress and other issues in their life, which makes them more likely candidates to develop cancer.

reduce_cancer_riskI also read about how we as humans can reduce our risks of developing cancer just by changing things in our everyday lives such as smoking, drinking, and most importantly, our eating habits.

anti-cancer-superfuritsA panel of  22 leading experts from five countries recently completed a five year review of all research relating to cancer. They found that these things were strongly correlated to an increased risk of developing cancer.

1. Being overweight
2. Eating red and processed meats frequently
3. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol

Based on their findings, they made 8 suggestions that everyday people can follow to reduce their risks of developing cancer.

1.Stay as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight
2. Be at least moderately physically active, equivalent to walking for at least half an hour a day
3. Avoid high calorie foods, such as sugary drinks and fast food
4. Eat mostly foods of non-starchy plant origin
5. Limit consumption of red meat to one portion a week and avoid processed meat
6. Limit alcohol consumption
7. Avoid salty foods and eat more grains and legumes
8. Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet, avoiding dietary supplements

I don’t want to get cancer – I mean, who does? I know that sometimes it can be inevitable, but knowing that there are things that we can do about it kind of makes me feel a bit better. I know for a fact I can go down that check list and check everything off, and I’m not saying that I am 100% safe from cancer, but I can only hope that since I live a healthy, well balanced life style, that it pays off and helps in later in life.

I hope this helps you too.


“Sociology as a Life or Death Issue” Robert J. Brym. 2012


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