What are the main aspects that are important for cancer prevention?

Cancer occurs due to environmental stress and genetic predisposition. In some families, cancer occurs more frequently than in others. Lack of physical activity, smoking, tobacco, alcohol, obesity, improper diet, Hepatitis Band C, and Human Papilloma Virus infections are the main environmental factors that may be responsible for cancer.

What about diet?

Limit refined sugars and fats from animal sources. Have whole grains and beans. Eat leaner and lighter by choosing a few high-calorie foods. People on a Mediterranean diet that has mixed nuts and extra virgin olive oil have a reduced risk of breast cancer. Prefer olive oil to butter and fish over red meat.

What about a healthy weight?

Having a normal healthy weight reduces the chances of breast, prostate, lung, colon, and lung cancer. Avoid excessive oil, sugars, and sweets in your diet. Frequent snacks from outside sources are not recommended. Regular exercises with a controlled diet will not only reduce the chances of cancer but also prevent premature vascular diseases like coronary artery disease and strokes.

Can protection against certain viral infections prevent cancer?

Hepatitis B and C viruses can increase the risk of liver cancer. Adults who have sex with many individuals, and drug addicts who share needles, are at increased risk. Men who have sex with men, doctors, nurses, and pathology and dialysis technicians are at increased risk due to infected needle pricks as they have contact with infected blood and body fluids.

What about Human Papilloma Virus?

Human Papilloma Virus is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer and other genital cancers, as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys aged 11 and 12 years.

What about sexual behavior?

Avoid risky sexual behavior as that can lead to infection and that can lead to increased Cancer is growing its tentacles at an increasingly alarming rate. Unfortunately because of the late presentation of symptoms and unawareness, it spreads to other organs rapidly enough. Early diagnosis and treatment become imperative.

However, are there any ways to prevent cancer?

Chances of cancer. Limit the use of sexual partners and use a condom. The greater the number of sexual partners in a lifetime greater the chances of HIV and HPV infection and the greater the chances of cancer. Individuals with HIV or AIDS have a higher chance of cancer of the anus, liver, and lungs. HPV is associated with cervical cancer, cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva, and vagina.

What about self-examination?

Doing regular self-examination and having screening tests for cancer may help to detect cancer in its early stages and help to succeed in treatment. Screening tests for skin cancer, colon cancer, cervix cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer are easily available. Ask your doctor to provide you with the best cancer screening test for you.

What symptoms should put you on alert to diagnose cancer in its early stage?

If you have a sudden change in bowel habits like constipation or increased frequency of stools, if you find blood in stools or if they are black is a cause for further evaluation. Passing blood in urine without pain is a cause for concern. Unusual bleeding or discharge in women, thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere needs evaluation. An ulcer that does not heal, unexplained weight loss, and jaundice associated with itching are red flags. Hoarse-ness of voice or nagging cough requires evaluation. Blood in sputum, particularly in smokers, requires urgent evaluation.

Can cancer be really preventable?

Scientific studies have shown beyond doubt that obesity, tobacco, excess alcohol, strong family history of certain cancers, HIV, Hepatitis B and C viruses and lack of exercise, and excessive stress can lead to certain cancers. Having a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a proper healthy diet, physically being active, and avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol can reduce the risk of cancer. Even without predisposing factors, one can get cancer, for all predisposing factors for cancer have not been identified. Cancer needs to be identified in its early stages and needs to be prevented at all costs. Increasing awareness about cancer prevention is necessary for schools, colleges, factories, offices, and at public places like railway and bus stands.

Categories : Cancer

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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