How to lower gallbladder cancer risk

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Yesteryear actor Vinod Khanna, who was one of the most handsome gentlemen of Bollywood, succumbed to gallbladder cancer (GBC) on April 27 at a hospital in Mumbai. He was 70.

According to The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), gallbladder cancer (GBC) is among the first 10 cancers in its registries (2006-2008) of Delhi, Dibrugarh, Kolkata, Bhopal and Mumbai.

The risk of GBC increases after 45 years and peaks at the age of 65.

Several studies have found gallbladder cancer is more of a lifestyle disease and hence may be prevented.

So, here are 10 ways you may lower the risk of gallbladder cancer (GBC):

1. Maintain a healthy body weight:

It has been found that obesity is one of the leading risk factors of gallbladder cancer. A meta-analysis of studies of the association between excess body weight and risk of gallbladder cancer published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), concluded: “Compared with individuals of ‘normal weight’, the summary relative risk of gallbladder cancer for those who were overweight or obese was 1.15 (95% CI, 1.01–1.30) and 1.66 (95% CI, 1.47–1.88) respectively.” Stay active and exercise regularly.

2. Avoid red meat:

Red meat, fatty meat and/or processed meat add to a higher cholesterol level. Avoid mutton, lamb, beef and processed meat like salami, bacon and sausages.

As per Cancer Council Australia, consuming over 700 gm (raw weight) of red meat a week increases the risk of bowel cancer.

Not only that, every 50 gm of processed meat we have each day ups the risk of gallbladder cancer by 18%. Have lean meat, fish and poultry instead.

3. Have peanuts:

Peanuts contain phytosterols that help reduce bad cholesterol and also inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

American health portal WebMD cited a study where women who helped themselves with at least one serving of peanuts every day lowered chances of having their gallbladders operated by 20% compared to those who didn’t.

4. Say no to tobacco:

The European Journal of Epidemiology has found in its research that tobacco smoking may affect the hepatobiliary system and hence increases the risk of liver and gallbladder cancer.

5. Swear by plant foods:

The American Cancer Society recommends that at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits every day lower the risk of gallbladder cancer.

6. Bid goodbye to refined grains:

Refined wheat flour products are robbed off the wheat germ and bran, meaning, they have 78% less fiber; on an average 74% less B vitamins and vitamin E, and 69% less minerals, as per United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food database. Replace refined grains with whole-grain bread, pasta, oats, brown rice and cereals.

7. Stay away from high-fat foods:

Fried foods, processed foods like doughnuts, pies and cookies, and whole-milk dairy products like cheese, ice-cream and butter are full of calories and have been found to contribute to high cholesterol levels.

8. Limit intake of acidic foods:

Acidic foods and beverages like coffee, tomatoes and citrus fruits may affect your gut health. Limit the consumption and replace acidic foods with an alkalizing diet, including banana, raisins, papaya, onions, cabbage and sweet potatoes.

9. Drink lots of water:

Nothing beats H2O when it comes to stay hydrated as well as flush-cleanse the system.

The liver produces about three cups of bile every day, which is stored in the gallbladder. Studies have shown that drinking plenty of water is needed to maintain the water content of bile.

10. Avoid food allergens:

If you are allergic or sensitive to a particular food, make sure you avoid food allergens. It has been found that food allergies play a major role in affecting gallbladder health.

Big Wire

Sreya Basu

Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.

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