World Cancer Day is February 4, 2023. It is an annual event that brings attention to cancer and encourages people to take steps to prevent, find, and treat it.
As many people know, cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells in the body grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These abnormal cells can form tumors and spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. There are many different types of cancer, and they can develop in almost any part of the body.
Many things are known to cause cancer, such as genes, exposure to certain chemicals and environmental factors, and some lifestyle choices, like smoking and not eating well. While some causes cannot be controlled, there are many things individuals can do to reduce their risk of developing cancer. Some of these are to stop smoking, eat well and exercise regularly, and get regular cancer screenings.
In recent years, many advances in cancer care have led to improved survival rates and a higher quality of life for cancer patients. These advances include the development of targeted therapies that are more effective and less toxic than traditional chemotherapy, as well as immunotherapies that help the body’s immune system fight cancer.
Cancer screening is an essential tool in the fight against cancer. Cancer screening can save lives by detecting cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. There are many cancer screening tests, and the right one for each person depends on their age, gender, and other risk factors. Some standard cancer screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies and stool tests for colon cancer, and Pap tests for cervical cancer.
On World Cancer Day, consider what you and your loved ones can do to decrease the risk of developing cancer. Here are three things that are known to reduce the risk of developing cancer:
- Don’t use tobacco products: Using tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, is a leading cause of cancer. Cigarette smoking is associated with 13 types of cancer; 48% of cancer deaths are attributed to smoking. Quitting smoking and avoiding other tobacco products can significantly reduce a person’s risk of cancer.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in processed and red meats has been linked to a lower cancer risk. Exercise has also been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer and many other health conditions.
- Protect yourself from the sun: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. To protect yourself, use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, seek shade, and wear protective clothing outdoors.