- The best way to prevent the spread of cancer and the emergence of related complications is by detecting the disease in its earliest and most treatable stages. Advanced technologies in medicine can find pre-cancerous changes and treat them before they progress to cancer (such as pap smears for cervical cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer). Maintain a regular screening schedule and consult your doctor if you notice anything unusual.
- Smoking is widely recognized as a risk factor for lung cancer and has also been linked to several other cancers. For smokers, quitting the habit is an important step in reducing cancer risk. Non-smokers should of course not take up smoking and be aware of the risks of second-hand smoke. This means avoiding individuals who smoke and smoke-filled environments.
- Being overweight or obese increases your risk of many health conditions, including cancer. If you are overweight or obese, consult your doctor about a healthy weight-loss plan. If you have a healthy weight, maintain it with a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
- Physical activity can be greatly beneficial for overall health and well-being. It may also help prevent cancer. Even moderate amounts of exercise may reduce cancer risk and boost health. It’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress. Consider exercise and relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
- Diets rich in fruits and vegetables (plant-based foods) may help lower cancer risk. Moreover, beans, whole grains, lean meats, and fish may help in cancer prevention. Keep red meat consumption (such as beef, veal, pork, and lamb) to no more than three portions per week for a total of 12-18 ounces. Eat little or no processed meat (anything salted, cured, grilled, and smoked). Get your protein from whole grains, legumes, soy, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.
- Alcohol consumption may increase cancer risk; it is usually not recommended to consume more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks for men.
- The risk for some cancers runs in families. Learn about cancer incidence (including the disease type and age at diagnosis) among your relatives and share this information with your doctor. Your family history will help you and your doctor determine your cancer risk and develop a screening and prevention plan.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a medical condition in which cells grow out of control and crowd out the normal cells. This makes it difficult for the body to work the way it should. Cancer can start at any place in the body. There are many types of cancer. It’s not just one disease. Cancer can start in the lungs, breast, colon, or blood. Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. The most common cancers include:
- In men: Prostate, lung, and colorectal
- In women: Breast, lung, and colorectal
- In children: Leukemia, brain tumors, and lymphoma
The most common treatments for cancer include:
- Surgery: It is usually used to take out the cancerous cells from the body. The surgeon might also take out some or all the cancer-affected body parts. For breast cancer, the surgeon might remove part (or all) of the breast. For prostate cancer, the surgeon might remove the prostate gland. Surgery is not used for all types of cancer. For example, blood cancers, such as leukemia, are best treated with drugs.
- Chemotherapy: These are the type of drugs that kill cancer cells or slow their growth. These drugs may be given through an intravenous (IV) line, into a vein through a needle, or like an oral pill. Because chemo drugs may travel to all parts of the body, they are especially useful for the treatment of aggressive cancer.
- Radiation: This method is also used to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. It can be used alone or with surgery or chemo. Radiation treatment is like getting an X-ray. Sometimes, a “seed” inside the cancer is put to give off radiation and kill the cancerous cells.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Can We Prevent Cancer? Related Articles
Arzerra (ofatumumab)Arzerra (ofatumumab) Injection is a monoclonal antibody used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Common side effects of Arzerra include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, swelling of hands/ankles/feet, trouble sleeping, skin rash, or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Arzerra decreases bone marrow function, which can cause anemia.
Breast Cancer PreventionLifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Cancer PreventionCertain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors to decrease cancer risk. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers. Vaccines, genetic testing, and cancer screening also play a role in cancer prevention.
How to Lower and Cut Your Risk of CancerAbout a third of all cases of cancer can be prevented. Find out how to lower your chances of getting it.
Colon Cancer Prevention
Colorectal cancer is both curable and preventable if it is detected early and completely removed before the cancerous cells metastasize to other parts of the body. Colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy (along with digital rectal examination and stool occult blood testing) are both effective at preventing colo-rectal cancers and detecting early colo-rectal cancers.
Endometrial Cancer PreventionEndometrial cancer, or uterine cancer, affects the endometrium of the uterus. It's the most common invasive cancer of the female reproductive system. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, taking estrogen-only hormone therapy, early menstruation, late menopause, and never being pregnant.
Fusilev (levoleucovorin)Fusilev (levoleucovorin) is a derivative of folic acid indicated for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and bone cancer (after methotrexate therapy). Common side effects of Fusilev include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, numbness or tingling, loss of appetite, unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth, weakness, tired feeling, hair loss, or mild skin rash.
How Curable Is Cancer of the Esophagus?Esophageal cancer or cancer of the food pipe is an aggressive cancer. In most cases, esophageal cancer is a treatable disease, although cure rates are low.
Neulasta (pegfilgrastim)Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) is a colony-stimulating factor, a man-made form of a protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells, used to decrease the incidence of infection, by treating neutropenia, a lack of certain white blood cells caused by receiving cancer chemotherapy. Common side effects of Neulasta include bone pain, pain in your arms or legs, or injection site reactions (bruising, swelling, pain, redness, or a hard lump).
Nyvepria (pegfilgrastim-apgf)Nyvepria (pegfilgrastim-apgf) is a man-made form of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) used to stimulate the growth of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell important in the body’s fight against infection, in people with cancer. Serious side effects of Nyvepria include spleen rupture, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), serious allergic reactions, sickle cell crises, kidney injury, increased white blood cell count (leukocytosis), Capillary Leak Syndrome, and inflammation of the aorta (aortitis).
Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, Primary Peritoneal Cancer Prevention
Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.
Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:
- Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
- Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
- Taking medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting.
Pemazyre (pemigatinib)Pemazyre (pemigatinib) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat adults with bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. Serious side effects of Pemazyre include eye problems, such as dry eye or inflamed eyes, inflamed cornea (front part of the eye), increased tears, and a disorder of the retina (an internal part of the eye).