Known by his distinctive South London accent, the star is ranked at No.20 on the list of highest grossing box office stars, and there is no doubt about why. With starring roles in iconic films such as The Italian Job, Get Carter and Educating Rita, Caine’s acting ability is second to none. Yet a deadly disease has made him fearful of dying.
In the past the actor has admitted to living a destructive lifestyle. In an interview with The Sun on Sunday he said that he used to drink “a bottle of vodka and smoke several packets of cigarettes a day.”
It was adopting this kind of lifestyle that has led the actor becoming fearful of dying from cancer. So much so that he has made some drastic life changes to avoid contracting the disease.
It was thanks to his wife of 48 years, former fashion model Shakira Caine that he was able to turn his lifestyle around, swapping sugar and salt for healthier alternatives.
Commenting on his new lifestyle he added: “I’ve had to cut back on the drinking and I’m always looking up what’s the best thing against cancer, so I’ll eat that or do this or not do that.”
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Another motivation for the actor is his grandchildren. “I’ll probably drop dead talking to you.” joked Caine, “But you know I’ve lost 30lbs just because I want to see my grandchildren. They’re twins of six and a boy of seven. I’d like to get to 17 for the boy.”
So far the actor has not given in to his weakness for a bacon sandwich and continues to add more titles to his career. His latest film Best Sellers, which is due to be released late September 2021, was one of the films selected at the Berlin Film Festival.
Talking on the subject of retirement, the star said: “When the offers of work stop I will say I have retired.
“The film business will have to give me up, not the other way around.”
How to prevent cancer
Although it is impossible to live completely risk free of developing cancer in some form, as Caine rightly states there are multiple lifestyle changes that you can do to minimise your risk.
Cancer Research UK stated that if 10 years ago, everyone in the UK did not smoke, was a healthy weight, adopted healthy diets, drank no alcohol, was more active and stayed safe in the sun then GPs would only see six new cancer cases instead of 10.
Although hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it is near impossible that these criteria were going to be met, it is an eye opening statistic.
If individuals take anything from the word of warning from Cancer Research, it is that stopping smoking and keeping a healthy weight are the best two ways to minimise your cancer risk.
As the Mayo Clinic also says, using tobacco or any type of tobacco product, you are increasing your risks of lung, mouth, throat, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney cancer. Chewing on tobacco – albeit an old tradition – has also been linked to cancer of oral cavities.
Even being around heavy smokers and inhaling second-hand smoke can be damaging to your health.
Weight is another controllable factor that can easily minimise your risk. This does not only include a diet but also taking part in light exercise.
The Eatwell Guide shows that to have a healthy diet people should try to do the following things:
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day).
Foods that are high in salt, fat and sugar do not have to be completely cut out of your diet, but with these foods moderation is key.
Some simple ways that the NHS recommends for you to get your five a day include adding a tablespoon of dried fruit such as raisins to your morning cereal, swapping a mid-morning biscuit for a banana and having a portion of fruity with low fat yoghurt for dessert.
Swapping dairy products for lower fat or non-dairy alternatives is also an easy way to cut out fat but still keep the source of calcium which is good for your bones.
If following a vegetarian, vegan or free-from diet it is important to still make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs. This can be done through taking supplements such as Omega-3 fatty acids.