Keys to Preventing Cancer

Agirre, Jabier

Medikua eta OEEko kidea

Seven out of ten cancer cases could be avoided or ruled out if we changed our lives. World Cancer Day was celebrated on 4 February, as every year. And, although it's been a lot of days since then, I've thought of reviewing the main risk factors that most often contribute to this disease, to see if we have some clear things to all.
Keys to Preventing Cancer
01/04/2006 | Elhuyar
(Photo: Archive)

Quit smoking, do a little more exercise, try to lose a few kilos. Such decisions have a very positive effect on our health. But will these factors influence the onset of cancer? Below I will mention the most 'healthy' decisions that citizens can make in their daily lives according to the European Code against Cancer, indicating the risk percentage of each of them.

Loss of these excessive kilos

Overweight and obesity are becoming one of the most dangerous chronic diseases in Western societies, not only because of increased cancer risk, but also because of increased frequency of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Increased risk of uterine cancer with excess kilos

Obesity is very related to cancer of the uterus (43%) and colon and rectum (14%), to mention only adults. However, in cases where you have to lose a lot of kilo, it is essential to follow the instructions of a doctor, following a healthy (and not excessively strict) diet recommended by him, to lose weight at an appropriate rate (0.5-1 kg/week).

Smoking cessation

It is estimated that among smokers the number of cancer-related deaths is three times higher than among those who have never.

To prevent lung cancer

Tobacco is one of the factors that most influence the onset of cancer, especially in the case of lung cancer (between 87% and 91% of cases are due to direct tobacco use in men). But in addition to lung, tobacco is also associated with other types of cancer: larynx, esophagus, oral cavity, kidney, bladder, etc.

Passive smokers are also not freed from the negative effect of tobacco. According to a new study, environmental smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by 20 to 30% and the risk of heart disease by 30%.

(Photo: Archive)

Eat more vegetables

A low-calorie, low-fat diet can reduce the risk of cancer.

Diet against stomach cancer

To prevent stomach, prostate, breast (and other parts of the body related to what we eat) cancers, it is key to eat five servings of fresh vegetables and fruits daily. In addition, it is recommended to consume fish 2-3 times a week, twice legumes and cereals. In this sense, it is recommended to replace white bread, pasta and rice with wholes. Saturated fats (red meat, sausages, butter, pastries, etc.) Two other simple measures are the reduction of consumption and use of olive oil in the kitchen.

Special stool or colonoscopy analysis

Both men and women over the age of 50 should begin special colon cancer screening tests to make this screening as early as possible. One is a stool blood test and a colonoscopy test. The first test can reduce colon cancer mortality by 16% to 27%.

Performance of the exercise

People who live active have half the risk of cancer than sedentary people. But to make things clear, to be fit it is not essential to hit in the gym and make fire, just do any type of exercise regularly (2-3 times a week), with sessions of at least 30 minutes. The type of exercise must be adapted to age and physical preparation.

Sedentary life and breast cancer

To be fit is not essential to play in the gym and make fire, just perform any type of exercise regularly
2-3 times per week
(Photo: Archive)

Cancers most related to lack of exercise are colon (14%) and breast (9%). Prostate, lung, and uterine cancers follow.

Hepatitis B vaccination

18% of cancers come from virus and bacterial infections. For example, many liver cancers are caused by hepatitis B and C viruses. The hepatitis B vaccine is currently included in our children's immunization schedule and is a good measure to greatly reduce the risk of cancer.

Alcohol reduction

Alcohol has its consequences in the medium and long term. And excessive abuse is not necessary to begin to perceive the harmful effects and consequences of alcohol.

Alcohol and women: a dangerous relationship

One study shows that a liter of wine per day increases the risk of breast cancer by 5% in women. But men are also not exempt from the risk: alcohol abuse significantly increases the risk of developing liver cancer (32%), esophagus (41%) and mouth and throat (33%).

Solar protection

A significant percentage of skin cancer cases show excessive sun exposure.

A significant percentage of skin cancer cases show excessive sun exposure.

Childhood and skin cancer

The continuous sun attacks on our skin accumulate and can lead to the appearance of various varieties of skin cancer. That is why it is so important to protect children and adolescents from the sun: it is advisable not to expose them to the sun in the most intense hours, to use a suitable sunscreen and to keep a close eye on the changes in shape and size of the folds and stains.

Periodic Cytology

The Cytology or Pap test is a test for early detection of cervical cancer, which should be performed by all women over the age of 25 or with sex at least every 3-5 years.

Cervical Cancer Prevention

It is a very simple test, very simple to perform and that detects possible lesions to the cancer. Thus, diagnosing cancer in its early stages, in a phase in which it can often be said to be a cancer, it is easier to cure it. This test is usually done on a woman's visit to the gynecologist.

Periodic mammography

Breast cancer is the most common tumor in women. Therefore, it is important that from the age of 40-50 (according to the gynecologist) the woman performs a periodic mammography for her control.

Health care
Main causes of cancer
According to a study by the Harvard University School of Public Health (USA) ), the following percentages indicate the incidence of certain risk factors in the most common types of cancer:
Lung cancer
Tobacco: 87-91% (men),
57-86% (women)
Low vegetable consumption: 1%
Pollution: 3%
Colorectal cancer
Overweight/Obesity: 14%
Sedentary life: 14%
Low vegetable consumption: 1%
Breast cancer
Alcohol: 9%
Overweight/Obesity: 13%
Sedentary life: 9%
Stomach cancer
Tobacco: 25%
Low vegetable consumption: 1%
Pancreatic cancer
Tobacco: 29%
Alcohol: 32%
Hospital contamination: 3%
Tobacco: 17%
Bladder cancer
Tobacco: 41%
Esophageal cancer
Tobacco: 71%
Alcohol: 41%
Low vegetable consumption
Mouth and throat cancer
Tobacco: 71%
Alcohol: 33%
Uterine cancer
Overweight / Obesity: 43%
Cervical cancer
Tobacco: 11%
Unprotected Risk Sex: 100%.
Health care
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