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12 people die from cancer every day, says the Singapore Cancer Society, and cancer claims the lives of more men than women in Singapore. Between 2005 to 2009, more than 12,000 deaths among men was attributed to this disease. It is a worrying statistic that has prompted the Singapore Cancer Society to launch Movember Singapore a cancer awareness campaign for men.
This initiative is part of the larger global Movember movement that aims to spread necessary information about cancer risks, its signs and symptoms, and the benefits of early detection. The name Movember is derived from the month of November (when the campaign is held) and the moustache, the rallying symbol of this cancer awareness campaign. Supporters are encouraged to "grow a 'mo" during the month of November and share their effort with others. Women and children can also join in the act by wearing virtual moustaches or buying fake 'staches to help raise funds. Find out more about the events they have planned at Movember Singapore and grow your own 'mo on Facebook
The three most lethal cancers affecting men are colorectal, lung and prostate cancer. You can lower your cancer risks by going for regular health screenings; early detection can put you on the path towards early treatment, at least. The other way to keep cancer at bay is to incorporate certain lifestyle habits that can improve your body's defences.
Quit smoking (surprise, surprise)
Carcinogens in cigarette smoke are the main initiators of lung cancer and it is estimated that 85 percent of lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoke. Smokers have a 10-fold greater risk of dying from lung cancer as compared with non-smokers, and in heavy smokers, this risk increases to 15- to 25-fold. By the time you realise you have a problem, it could be too late. Get yourself checked if your cough is persistent and there's blood in your sputum or phlegm. And avoid all forms of tobacco smoke.
A tiny dose of exercise can do a whole lot of good, says a study in the International Journal of Cancer. The research showed that men who exercised just once a week had a 30 per cent lower risk of metastatic prostate cancer than did men who didn’t work out at all. Increasing the frequency, duration, and intensity of the exercise correlated with a further, gradual reduction in risk. Even a 15-minute run every Sunday will help keep the big C at bay. Short of time? Try our 15-minute workouts to find an exercise plan that'll suit your needs.
Enjoy your wine
Resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes, seems to interact directly with genes that regulate ageing. This chemical has been shown to promote DNA repair in animals, enhance blood flow to people’s brains, and halt the growth of prostate cancer and colon cancer cells.
Eat more tomatoes
Prostate cancer has been shown to be the third most common cancer among men, says Associate Professor Chia Sing Joo, head and senior consultant of general surgery, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Improve your odds by protecting your prostate with lycopene. Found in tomatoes, this potent antioxidant may reduce your risk of prostate cancer, according to a recent University of Illinois study. The researchers say it may work by altering hormone metabolism and by causing cancer cells to self-destruct.