Eat better to fight cancer

Despite advances in the medical sciences, no scientist can confirm the key causes of cancer so as to put an end to this raging disease ("Spike in cancer cases"; June 29).

Many, however, have cited unhealthy eating habits, high levels of stress, genes, and so on, as possible causes.

We can do nothing much when it comes to the genes in our body. However, stress and eating habits are within our control.

The authorities and businesses have been actively promoting work-life balance, with specific programmes to advise employees on how to manage stress levels.

Parks and recreational centres are all within our reach. It is just up to us to make good use of these facilities to reduce our stress.

As for our diet, we know about the advantages of consuming less oil, salt, sugar and preservatives. But the food offered at eateries is not prepared in such a manner.

We know of the potential risks in processed foods but canned and fast food are easily available and popular due to their convenience.

However, this can be managed if we eat more home-cooked food.

There are other areas in which only the authorities can help, one of which is the amount of pesticides present in the vegetables sold at our wet markets and supermarkets.

No pesticide is harmless. Even minute amounts consumed can have a cumulative effect on our health in the long term.

The onus is on the authorities to check that all vegetables sold here are safe to consume. This will help improve the quality of what we eat and, hopefully, assist in curbing the rising number of cancer cases.

Lim Lih Mei (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Eat better to fight cancer'. Print Edition | Subscribe