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Research shows that up to 50 percent of cancer cases and deaths are preventable. Cancer prevention is the most cost-effective and sustainable long-term strategy for the control of cancer.
Over decades of research, what causes cancer and what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. Nevertheless, experts at National Institute of Health, USA are recommending that our chances of developing cancer are affected by our lifestyle choices. Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases where many things in our genes, our lifestyle, and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer.
Researchers are studying ways to prevent cancer. In fact, research shows that up to 50 percent of cancer cases and deaths are preventable. Prevention and early detection are crucially important and are proven effective strategies to lower healthcare utilization costs. With increasing healthcare cost, cancer prevention is the most cost-effective and sustainable long-term strategy for the control of cancer. Common risk factors for cancer include aging, tobacco, radiation exposure, chemicals and other substance exposures, some viruses, certain hormones, family history of cancer, alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity, or being overweight. Not all are modifiable, but some are modifiable via lifestyle changes. This low-cost self-management strategies are particularly important for low middle income countries as these low resource countries now bear a major share of the global cancer burden.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommended ways to avoid or control things known to cause cancer: changes in diet and lifestyle, finding precancerous conditions (conditions that may become cancer) earlier, chemo-prevention or medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting, and risk-reducing surgery to lower cancer prevention. These are some of the evidence-based cancer prevention strategies from NCI, which also runs the cancer prevention fellowship for post-docs.
Is cancer preventable?
Research suggests that only five percent of cancers are hereditary. This means the non-inherited causes of cancer are available to us in terms of lifestyle choices we make, the foods we eat, and physical activity levels, have a direct impact on our overall cancer risk. Some of these preventable cancers are breast, colorectal, prostate, oral, skin, testicular, liver and lung.
Cancer prevention tips?
There are some simple daily living skills and strategies focusing on cancer prevention tips that we can adhere to and advocate those around us. Specifically, it highlights habits such as quit tobacco, stop alcohol, be physically active, diet, healthy body weight, and regular check-up and screening of certain cancers.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation in USA is an organization set up with a mission to save lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Its aim is to stop cancer before it starts, and they achieve this through their four pillars of research, education, outreach and advocacy. It has commissioned a series of Public Service Announcements, designed to entertain while raising awareness about preventable cancers, such as breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular that can be prevented through lifestyle changes or early detection and treatment. In conclusion, the leading preventable risk factors like obesity, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use, getting vaccinations are worth investing and researching to prevent cancer risks. It is the way forward towards a sustainable healthcare cost for the rising burden of cancer. More research into cancer prevention will pave the way forward for reducing the burden of cancer.