DR. SANDEEP NAYAK
MRCS (Edin), DNB (General Surgeon), DNB (Surgical Oncology)
Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Robotic and Laparoscopic Oncosurgeon
Preventing Cancer Risk
Our research tells us that up to one-half of the cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle behavior. It is important to understand that Cancer, if detected early only then can it be cured. However, nowadays Cancer Hospitals are well equipped to treat advanced cancer through surgery and medication. But what can one do to minimize and decrease the risks of developing cancer during their lifetime.
Recommendations to Reduce the Risk of Cancer
1. Avoid Tobacco Use
You must be living under a rock if you don’t know that smoking is one of the major reasons that leads to lung cancer and other hazardous diseases. But there have been dramatic improvements in the developed world in terms of reduction of cigarette smoking, which is shown massive reductions in lung cancer reduction. As soon as you stop smoking, your health will improve immediately and continue to improve over time. Your blood circulation will improve after 3-12 weeks of quitting smoking. Your immune system will get a boost that will help in fighting cold and other illnesses.
Obesity is associated with cancer and it can increase your risk for several types of cancer. By maintaining a healthy diet can help you stay lean. Start adding your plate with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid food like red meat and processed meat. We should also try to control the amount of sugar that we allow into out diet. Sugar is a major cause of obesity and disease, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
There’s really quite clear evidence that physically active people get less cancer than those that do not exercise. Keeping yourself physically active, you feel better, cardiovascular diseases is also reduced. Exercising regularly also helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
4. Regular Screening
Screening is very important to detect cancer at an early stage and help to prevent it. There is clear evidence that screening for cervix cancer, for breast cancer, for colorectal cancer is important.
The other major prevention that many people don’t know about and probably they are not doing very much is Aspirin. A 10% reduction of all cancer incidence and mortality would be a huge step forward, and we do appear to have the means to do that. So that’s I think one of our challenges for the near future as well. However, it comes with suffer effects. So, it is to be used with caution.
6. HPV Vaccine
HPV vaccine is the best protection against HPV-related cancers. All boys and girls in the age group 11-12 years old should get the HPV vaccine.
7. Use Sunscreen
The best way to protect against skin cancer is to limit your exposure to the sun’s UV rays and eliminate tanning bed use. Always use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever you’re leaving your house and going in the sun.
8. Family History
If you’ve a family history of cancer you may be at increased risk for cancer. You should consult your doctor so that he/she can assess your risk and help you take precautions against cancer. You will be advised genetic tests if the risk of cancer is high in your family.
9. Reduce your Alcohol Intake or Consumption
Alcohol is something that does cause cancer. I don’t think we’re going to become an alcohol-free society. So the solution here is we should keep alcohol intake to a minimum level.
While it is important for us to enjoy our life, its important to find the things that have a major impact in causing cancer and try to avoid them, and just kind of live your life otherwise as happily as you can.