LAHORE - Eating balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables plays an important part in reducing the risk of many types of cancer, this was stated in the recommendations made by Pakistan Medical Society (PMS), based on the technical session of the third national conference on World Cancer Day 2010. The technical session was addressed by the Head of Department of Dermatology Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, Prof Dr Azeem Jahagir Khan, senior oncologist INMOL Dr Sohail Murad, Dr Asma Sohail, Dr Misbah Hameed, PMS Chairman Dr Masood Akhtar Sheikh, WHO Operational officer Dr Babar Alam, while Director INMOL, DR Waqar haider presided the conference. In the recommendations, Dr Masood Akhtar sheikh said the anti-cancer properties of carrots are more potent if the vegetable is not cut before cooking. Boiled before cut carrots contain 25 per cent more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol than those chopped up first. Chopping up carrots increases the surface area so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are cooked. By keeping them whole and chopping them afterwards you are lacking in nutrients and the taste, so the carrot is better for you all round. However, the heat also softens the cell walls, allowing water-soluble compounds such as sugar and vitamin C to be lost via the surface of the tissue, leading to the leaching out of other compounds such as falcarinol. Dr Masood Sheikh said, Men are 60 per cent more likely to develop cancer and 70 per cent are more likely to die of it; among cancers that affect both sexes. Dr Sohail Murad, a senior oncologist at INMOl, highlighted that excess body fat is known to cause of cancer, in addition to increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. However, there is now concrete statistical evidence between cancer and being overweight. The study proves over 100,000 cases of cancer are caused by obesity annually. The risk of cancer increases with age. Awareness of cancer-reducing lifestyle choices would help the older age group considerably. The general population ignores their obesity as society races towards bigger waists. Obesity, especially in childhood, is more dangerous for cancer development. We should raise awareness of the link between overweight, obesity and cancer. Dr Asma Sohail a consultant oncologist at INMOl, said we should help families, health professionals, educators and policymakers to help children eat a healthy diet and be physically active, so that they can maintain a healthy body weight - setting them on the right path to reduce their risk of cancer later in life.