Let’s talk men. In the past two or three years a new trend caught my attention which goes by the name No Shave November. It seemed like any other internet craze that lasts a few months till something cooler replaces it. Although some men follow the trend to grow a kick-ass looking beard, there are a few who do it to raise cancer awareness in men.
What is No Shave November?
No Shave November is a month-long journey where the participants decide to abandon their razors and trimmers for an entire month. We are not unfamiliar with the fact that many people lose their hair while battling cancer. And this is a unique way to raise cancer awareness by embracing your hair and getting hairy.
Rise of Cancer in men
Cancer is a generic term used for a large group of diseases that affect any part of the body. Rapid creation of abnormal cells is one of the defining features of cancer. These cells grow beyond their usual boundaries which then invade the adjoining parts of the body.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. I’m sure every one of you knows at least one person who is battling or has battled cancer. It is not an easy disease to fight. Different types of cancers prevail in our society.
The most common ones in men include lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer and bladder cancer. And we’ve only seen rising numbers of people affected with each type of these diseases all over the world. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is caused due to cancer.
India is said to have over 17.3 lakh new cases and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020. On an average around 1 in about 15 men in the urban centres could develop cancer in their lifetime.
Among males, there was also quite a significant increase in the cases of cancers of colon, rectum and prostate in some major cities of India.
Causes of Cancer
While we talk about the rising number of cancer related cases, let’s look into some leading causes of this deadly disease. Along with behavioural risks and bad vices, our unhealthy diet and lack of poor nutrition increases a person’s chances of developing cancer. Some of these causes are high BMI (body mass index), low vegetable and fruit intake, tobacco use, alcohol use and lack of exercise.
Processed and red meat has been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for research on cancer. It includes ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats. It is made by salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking. Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb, and goat.
Dairy too is linked with cancer. A natural hormone in milk, called IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) promotes cell growth.
We should not forget that cow’s milk is for baby calves. It is a baby calf growth fluid. Dr. Michael Klaper explains that “The human body has no more need for cow’s milk than it does for dog’s milk, horse’s milk, or giraffe’s milk.”
It is true that cow’s milk contains protein and essential nutrients. But it contains twice the amount of protein and much higher concentrations of potassium, sodium, calcium, and other nutrients to encourage rapid growth. This has many advantages for a baby calf, but not for humans.
Walk the Talk
It is wonderful that we are all concerned about our health. And we do all that we can to raise awareness. But you got to walk the talk. Cancer can be prevented by making certain lifestyle changes. According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of cancer cases are preventable. It has a lot to do with our diet. Don’t wait until you fall ill. Go ahead and make a switch to a plant based diet.
We should include more naturally colorful meals to our diet. All fruits and vegetables are filled with cancer-fighting nutrients. Each color represents a variety of protective constituents in fruits and veggies.
- RED: contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces prostate cancer risk.
- ORANGE:contain beta-carotene that boosts the immune system.
- YELLOW-ORANGE: contain vitamin C and flavonoids that inhibit tumor cell growth and detoxify.
- GREEN: contain folate that builds healthy cells and genetic material.
- GREEN-WHITE: contain indoles and lutein that eliminate excess estrogen and carcinogens.
- WHITE-GREEN: contain allyl sulfides that destroy cancer cells, reduce cell division, and support the immune system.
- BLUE: contain anthocyanins that destroy free radicals.
- RED-PURPLE: contain resveratrol that may decrease estrogen production.
- BROWN: contain fiber that aids in carcinogen removal.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”-Hippocrates
This No Shave November month, let’s also spread knowledge about how to prevent cancer.