Driving Can Cause Cancer In Some Instances – Find Out Why And Whom It May Affect
Cancer is undeniably one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Unfortunately, professional drivers are considered as susceptible victims of this life-threatening health condition. Professional drivers are actually at risk of suffering from a wide range of cancers including larynx, pharynx, lung, bladder, kidney, liver and rectal cancer.
Cancer and Its Statistics
According to the World Health Organization, cancer accounts for 13.8% of all deaths worldwide with a record of 7.6 million deaths every year. The most common forms of cancer which cause death include lung, breast, stomach, colon and liver cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that cancer-related deaths will continue to increase and by the end of 2030, a total of 13.1 million deaths will be put in record. The most common causes of cancer include tobacco use, alcohol consumption, low intake of fruits and vegetables, high body mass index and insufficient physical activity.
Lung cancer is the leading type of cancer which causes death. To date, 1.37 million deaths are accounted to lung cancer. It is followed by stomach cancer with 736,000 deaths, liver cancer with 695,000 deaths, colorectal cancer with 608,000 deaths, breast cancer with 458,000 deaths and cervical cancer with 275,000 deaths. Unfortunately, professional drivers are very prone to the top four leading cancer types due to their non-conducive and stressful working environment.
The Risk Factors for Cancer
According to research, the main risk factors for cancer include unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, tobacco usage, and lack if physical activity. Even chronic infections from hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus and human papilloma virus are leading risks for cancer.
As most people know, cigarette smoking is a very common habit of most drivers. They consume alcohol and they are less likely to get adequate amount of food nutrients in appropriate due to their job’s nature. Since they spend most of their time in vehicles, they are less likely to spend time in gyms and doing exercise regularly.
Many cases of cancer have higher chance of cure and survival especially when diagnosed and treated immediately. According to studies, 30% of cancer deaths can actually be prevented. It can be done by avoiding its risk factors which include tobacco smoking, unhealthy diet, alcohol use, exposure to sunlight and urban air pollution.
Cancer in Professional Drivers
As discussed earlier, professional drivers are at a greater risk of suffering from different types of cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common types which drivers will most likely to get. Long hours of driving expose the driver’s body to the harmful UVA rays. Window shields can protect you against UVB rays but not from UVA rays which cause cancer.
Smoking has become a habit for many drivers. Despite the growing campaign for smoking cessation because of its adverse effects to the body, many people still continue to smoke cigarettes. According to research, cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of many types of cancer including larynx, esophagus, pharynx, oral cavity, stomach, bladder, cervix, pancreas and kidney cancers.
What Can Drivers Do to Reduce His Risk for Cancer
As discussed earlier, many forms of cancer can be controlled and reversed. It all boils down to intake of medication and observing a healthy and appropriate lifestyle. Below are some of the best things which professional drivers can do to prevent the occurrence of cancer.
To prevent skin cancer, apply sunscreen. It should be done 10-15 minutes before going outdoors for optimum results.
Avoid Cigarette Smoking
Cigarette smoking is definitely a difficult habit to eliminate. Its results are immediate and very promising but it cannot be denied that many people can’t get off smoking. Cigarette smoke actually contains more than 4000 chemicals. When burnt, 40 of these chemicals are considered as carcinogens and are harmful to the body. Carcinogens are chemicals that damage genes which control cell growth. When the genes are damaged, the cells begin to grow abnormally and rapidly.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption is seen as one of the most common factors that trigger the development of certain types of cancer including colon, stomach, rectum, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, oral cavity and liver cancer. Alcohol contains carcinogenic compounds such as tannins and nitrosamines.
According to studies, alcohol consumption does not directly cause cancer but it increases one’s risk for cancer. For instance, drinking liquors increases a person’s risk for Hepatitis C virus infection which in turn, increases his susceptibility to liver cancer.
Diet should be composed of low saturated fats but more of unsaturated fats. Instead of taking red meat, prefer seafood. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and fibres. There are also lots of foods rich antioxidants which are good for fighting and avoiding cancer.
Maintaining adequate physical activities regularly is an excellent way to fight off cancer. Exercise brings about a number of health benefits to the human body. It strengthens the immune system, controls weight, helps prevent the development of life threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disorders and hypertension and reduce the risk for premature death.