Cancer is an intractable disease to deal with for numerous reasons. For example, it can develop as a result of specific genetic mutations and it also tends to spread and multiply once it develops. Yet, research suggests you are not merely at the mercy of the deadly disease. Lifestyle interventions can modify your risk of developing cancer.
Diet can either increase or decrease your risk of cancer, depending on what you decide to put into your body.
Research in this area is ongoing and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn but evidence continues to support the consumption of certain items for reducing the risk of cancer, one of which is tea.
An article published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design provided a comprehensive sweep of the literature underpinning the consumption of tea and cancer risk.
At the time of writing (2013), the article researchers said: “There are 1000 scientific publications in the scientific literature found on PubMed documenting the cancer preventive ability of tea.”
READ MORE: How to live longer: One habit lowers the risk for mortality from age-related diseases
PubMed is a free resource which contains more than 32 million citations and abstracts of biomedical and health literature.
“Several studies initiated in our laboratory and subsequently verified from many other laboratories have suggested that catechins and theaflavins found in tea may reduce the risk of various types of cancers in humans,” the researchers reported.
Catechins and theaflavins are compounds found in tea.
The researchers cited various studies that demonstrated the relationship between tea consumption and threat of lung cancer.
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Tea drinking was associated with reduced risk of lung cancer in male cigarette smokers in a case control study in Uruguay.
A case control study compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls).
What’s more, the article researchers cited a promising population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China.
In the study, consumption of green tea was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among non-smoking women and the risk decreased with increasing consumption.
General tips to reduce cancer risk
Research into specific dietary components may be promising, but it is vital to heed the main preventive measures.
According to Cancer Research UK, not smoking is the biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.
“Chemicals in cigarette smoke get into our blood stream and can cause damage around the body,” warns Cancer Research UK.
Being a healthy weight has lots of benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer.
“Being overweight increases the risk of many types of cancer, including cancers of the bowel, kidney, womb and gullet (oesophagus),” warns Macmillan Cancer Support.
According to the charity, women who are overweight and have been through the menopause also have a higher risk of breast cancer.
It is worth noting that keeping to a healthy body weight also reduces the risk of incurring other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
“If you are worried about your weight or need more information, talk to your GP or a dietitian,” advises Macmillan Cancer Support.