A simple test reveals how to reduce the risk of fatal cancers

Around 375,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in the UK every day.

That’s around 1,000 cases each day, with 38 per cent of these cases being preventable, according to Cancer Research UK.

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Taking a simple test can help you reduce your risk of developing various types of cancerCredit: Getty

But there are things you can do to prevent deadly diseases and now a simple test reveals exactly how you can do it.

The questions developed by the charity’s paramedics are designed to help you find out which areas of your life put you at risk.

First, you will be asked how often you smoke, because if you do, you will have a higher risk of developing cancers such as lung cancer.

The NHS states that if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than someone who does not smoke.

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The guidelines state that “frequent exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke (passive smoking) can also increase the risk of developing lung cancer.”

There are also other types of cancer linked to smoking, such as:

  • mouth
  • throat
  • voice box (larynx)
  • esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach)
  • bladder
  • Intestine
  • I dont know
  • kidneys
  • liver
  • stomach
  • pancreas.

The NHS states that smoking can harm the heart and circulatory system, increasing the risk of diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, damaged blood vessels and damaged arteries.

How to reduce your risk: The charity said there are free services that can help you quit smoking.

“Using prescription medication and support from a free, local smoking cessation service will give you the best chance of stopping for good – but how you choose to quit is up to you,” they said.

The second question of the quiz, it will ask you about your body mass index (BMI).

Cancer Research UK suggests that being overweight or obese (body mass index over 25), can put you at risk of 13 different types of cancer.

This includes:

  • Breast and bowel (two most common types of cancer)
  • Pancreas, esophagus and gallbladder (three of the most difficult cancers to treat)
  • uterus and ovaries
  • Kidneys, liver and upper stomach
  • myeloma (a type of blood cancer)
  • Meningioma (a type of brain tumor)
  • Thyroid

How to reduce your risk: The charity states that losing weight can help reduce the risk. The NHS offers a range of free tools to help you reach a healthy weight.

Top tips from Cancer Research UK include maintaining a meal routine, reducing calories and ‘lose weight’.

Other tips include looking at labels on packages, being careful about your portion sizes and making sure you’re on your feet throughout the day.

They also advise you to think about the drinks you’re drinking, while being careful of those with added sugars.

The guidelines state that you should focus on your food when you eat and not forget to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

The third question is about how much physical exercise you do each week.

If you get less than 50 minutes a week, you may be at risk of developing 13 of the cancers listed above.

How to reduce your risk: Experts say: “Think of simple ways you can fit more activity into your routine — even just getting a few extra daily steps is a good start.

“You can try sitting exercises while taking phone calls, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or getting off the bus early.

“Set yourself a goal, find an active new hobby, or include a friend to motivate yourself.”

Next are questions about your sun exposure.

The data shows that about 1 in 36 men and 1 in 47 women will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.

One of the main risk factors for this is sun exposure and sunburn.

Experts say: “A sunburn once every two years can triple your risk of developing melanoma, melanoma.”

How to reduce your risk: Experts say it’s important to enjoy the sun safely.

“When the sun is strong, the best way to protect your skin is to spend time in the shade, cover up with clothes, and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and 4 or 5 stars. Use it generously and reapply regularly.”

As part of the questionnaire, you will also be asked how much wine you drink on a weekly basis.

Government guidelines state that you should have no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (about seven drinks).

Alcohol can cause cancer by damaging our cells and preventing cells from repairing the damage.

How to get help with your drinking

There are plenty of helpful resources and tools to help you with your drinking problems.

Drinkline – call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am-8pm, weekends 11am-4pm).

Alcoholics Anonymous – A free self-help group that offers a 12-week plan

Al-Anon – A group for family members or friends struggling to help their loved ones

Adfam – a national charity that works with families affected by drugs and alcohol

National Association of Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) – Helpline for children with parents who are addicted to alcohol – call 0800 358 3456

It also affects chemical markers that can make cells more likely to divide, increasing the risk of cancer.

Drinking wine also makes it easier for cells in the mouth and throat to absorb cancer-causing chemicals.

The charity states that drinking increases the risk of cancer including:

  • Breast and bowel cancer (two of the most common types).
  • mouth cancer.
  • Some types of throat cancer: the esophagus (food pipe), larynx (voice box), and pharynx (upper throat).
  • Liver Cancer.

If you want to reduce your risk, you must reduce, and remembering the charity keeping track of your units will help.

You should also experiment with alcohol free days and try to substitute alcoholic beverages for non-alcoholic ones.

Medics also suggest not hoarding booze, using smaller glasses and reaching out to a friend or family member for accountability.

Finally, you will be asked questions about your diet including how many servings of fruit and vegetables you eat per day, whole grain foods and processed meats.

Various studies have shown that if you eat a lot of processed meats, such as sausage and bacon, you are at increased risk of developing cancer, such as bowel cancer.

Experts say the best place to start is to reduce the amount you eat each week and replace it with fresh chicken or fish in some meals.

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Plus, you can also try “meat-free days,” as they say.

Experts add that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help prevent cancer by keeping your weight down.


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