Thursday, 2 February 2017

10 ways on how to prevent cancer in 2017 by Dr. Ananya Mandal, MD


Cancer risk is related to genes and exposure to several environmental toxins. While certain risk are un-changeable (genes for example), some lifestyle factors if modified my help prevent the occurrence of cancer.

Another important measure for prevention of cancer is by knowing one's own body and being aware of any changes to detect a possible cancer as early as possible.

A healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of certain cancers. This includes several measures like:
  • EATING A HEALTHY AND BALANCED DIET

There is a lot of research on what raises cancer risk and what reduces it, however, no single food or supplement can prevent cancer from developing. Over all, research shows a link between eating certain group of food and a reduction in cancer risk. Healthy diet includes plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portion a day), plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other foods with carbohydrate and especially those with fibre

Eating enough fibre reduces the risk bowel cancer. Fibre-rich foods includes whole grain pasta, bread,breakfast cereals and rice. Pulses, fruit and vegetable are also good source of fibre. There should be some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein as well as some milk and dairy foods in diet. Although meat is good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc, there is evidence that too much of red processed meat can be bad as it may raise risk of bowel cancer. red meat includes becon, sausages, salami and ham. Diet should contain only small amounts of foods and drinks high in fat or sugars.

Diet should be high in foods with antioxidants. However, some of these in high amounts may raise the risk of cancers. For example, Beta-carotene, often found in antioxidant supplements, has been found to increase the risk of people who have been heavily exposed to asbestos at work.

  • MAINTAINING A HEALTHY AND NORMAL BODY WEIGHT

High body weight, obesity, and being overweight raise the risk of several cancer, incliding bowel cancer, pancrea cancer, oesophagus  cancer, kidney cancer, and breast cancer.

  •  STOPPING SMOKING COMPLETELY

90% of lung cancer cases are related to smoking. It is the single most important preventable factor in prevention of lung cancer. The earlier smoking is stopped, the better.

  • CONSUMING LESS ALCOHOL

Excessive alchol consumption linked to oral cancer, cancer of the voice box (larynx) or pharynx (back of the mouth), bowel cancer (in women). Women shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day, and men shouldn't drink more than 3-4 units a day.

  • PREVENTING PROLONGED EXPOSURE OF BARE SKIN TO SUN

Skin cancers are common Caucasians who are exposed to the suns measures including spending time in shade between 11am and 3pm, using sun screen lotion with sun protection factors (SPF) of at least 15, covering up exposed parts of the body with cloth, hats, and sun glasses.

All are advised to keep  a watch on any moles or freckles that they have any changes in these need to be investigated. This could be sign such as the mole getting bigger or being bleeding etc.

  • PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE BY USING SAFE SEX MEASURE

This can prevent transmission of Hepatitis C and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).The former is responsible for liver cancer while the latter for cervical cancers.

  • PREVENTION TO EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Work place safely among those asbestos is important. Exposure to radiation and chemicals like benezene fibres army leads to lung cancer like mesothelioma.

  • VACCINES FOR CANCER PREVENTION

Vaccine against HPV and Hapatits B are available. These can protect against cervical cancer (against HPV-Gardasil and Cervarix) and liver cancers.
  • SCREENING

Cancer screening is an attempt to detect unsuspected cancer in an asymptomatic population. These are applied to healthy individuals usually after a certain age.
Screening for cancer  can lead to earlier diagnosis in specific life. Best example due to screening, includes screening for breast cancer by mammograms, for colon cancers through fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopy and for cervical cancers through regular pap smears for cervical cytology.

  • GENETIC TESTING

Genetic testing for high risk individuals is already available for certain cancer related genetic mutations. Some cancers are typified by certain genetic features. This includes examples like BRCA 1, and BRCA2 genes for breast, ovarian and and pancreatic cancers MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS1, PMS2 for colon, uterus, small bowel, stomach and urinary track cancer.



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