The Relationship between Dietary Choices and Cancer Prevention among College Students

The report consequently recommended that prompt action on cancer prevention should be considered to decrease illness and mortality everywhere in the world. There are many risk factors associated with the causation of cancers. These include certain eating habits like extreme intake of salt, fatty foods, and meat, low intake of fruits and vegetables, cigarette smoking, and excessive alcohol intake (Tsugane, 2005). Practically, all the aforementioned dietary factors have been observed to be present in junk foods that the college students are accustomed to. However, this might be changed by proper nutrition and health-related education. It is perceived that such poor eating habits are as a result of inadequate knowledge of the increasing effects of their eating habits. Nutritional knowledge has been recognized as a significant factor for adequate nutrition, which improves host’s resistance to chronic diseases. Numerous studies have pointed out the helpfulness of nutrition knowledge in the prevention of cancer, particularly diet related cancers (Anderson et al, 2004). Diet is deemed as one of the strongest environment cancer-causing factors with an estimated 80% of breast, colon, and prostate cancers, and a third of all cancers, attributed to related lifestyle and dietary factors (Awad, Bradford, 2006). Consequently, although it is not yet likely to provide quantitative estimates of the total risks, dietary factors are presumed to been related to 35% of deaths as a result of cancer. Diets containing fruits, vegetables and spices might provide significant health benefits in terms of cancer prevention and treatment by defeating the inflammatory procedures that lead to transformation, hyper proliferation and the beginning of carcinogenesis. However, the dietary component in these agents in control of their capability to fight the effects of cancer and their mechanism for fighting cancer remain unknown (Sung et al, 2011). Based on epidemiological studies, common predictors of cancers include reduced physical activity, excessive adiposity, and unhealthy diets (Eslami et al, 2012). Statement of the Problem People can take positive steps toward preventing some form of cancer through their diet. It is unclear the extent to which people are aware of the relationship between their dietary choices and cancer prevention. This study will, therefore, examine people’s dietary choices and their perception regarding the link between these dietary choices and cancer. More specific, it will address the following questions. 1. To what extent do people consume food with known links to cancer? 2. To what extent are people aware of the link between the foods and cancer? Definition of Terms The following terms are defined here for the purpose of better understanding of their intended meaning in this research. Cancer: Diseases characterized by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. The cancer cells can attack surrounding tissues, may as well spread through the lymphatic system and blood stream to other body parts. Oncology: Refers to the study of cancer. Mortality: Refers to the number of deaths due to a specific cause such as the number of deaths caused by cancer. Prevalence: Refers to the rate of cancer in a given population at a given point in time. CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The