Top 10 Cancer Prevention Strategies
1. Quit TOBACCO
Tobacco contributes to 21% of worldwide total cancer deaths. Approximately one-half of all smokers die of a tobacco-related disease. Smoking may cause leukemia, cancers of the oral cavity, nasal cavity, sinuses, nasopharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, liver, stomach, cervix, kidney, large bowel, and bladder, and more aggressive prostate cancers.
The health benefits of quitting can be seen at all ages and can be measured almost immediately after cessation.
2. Avoid EXCESS SUN EXPOSURE
Radiation from the sun is the primary cause of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. The World Health Organization recommends against tanning bed use by anyone under the age of 18. So, could it be time to promote “tanning bed cessation?”
Recommendations for sun protection —
Limit the time spent in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm,
Wear hats, sunglasses, and other protective clothing
3. Increase PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Physical activity is associated with a decreased risk for colon, liver, pancreatic, stomach cancer, breast cancer, uterus and prostate cancer.
4. Avoid EXCESS WEIGHT
Excess weight and obesity are associated with an increase in the risk of multiple cancers including colorectal, postmenopausal breast, uterus, renal, esophageal cancer, pancreas, thyroid, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma , and aggressive prostate cancer.
5. Consume a Healthy DIET
Eating a lot of red meat is associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer.
Increasing fruits and vegetables protects from an overall risk of cancer.
Increasing fiber decreases colorectal cancer risk.
Glucose load — Insulin and insulin-like growth factors promote cell proliferation, and it is hypothesized that high insulin may promote certain cancers. Patients with diabetes have a two-fold or greater risk of cancers of the liver, pancreas, uterus, colon, breast and bladder; the risk of prostate cancer decreases in patients with diabetes.
Increasing fish intake may decrease rectal cancer.
6. VITAMINS AND MICRONUTRIENTS
Multiple studies of the use of supplemental vitamins and minerals to prevent cancer have been disappointing.
Folate in diet has been associated with a decreased risk of colon and breast cancer, especially in women who drink alcohol.
Excess alcohol consumption increases the risk of multiple cancers of the oropharynx, esophagus, larynx, rectum, liver, and breast. Moderate alcohol use has beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, but the increased cancer risk may offset such benefits.
8. Control INFECTION
Multiple links between viral and bacterial agents and cancer have been established:
Human papillomavirus (HPV) with cervical and other anogenital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck.
Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) with hepatocellular carcinoma
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-I) with adult T cell leukemia
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-I) with Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple non-AIDS defining malignancies
Human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) with Kaposi sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) with Burkitt lymphoma
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) with gastric cancer and with MALT lymphomas.
Use of sterile disposable needles for a single patient in healthcare settings, regulation of tattooing, screening of blood, organ, and semen donors, development of artificial blood products. Also, protect against sexually transmitted infections with vaccinations for HBV and HPV, retroviral therapy for HIV infection. Decrease the hepatitis B viral load by treatment with interferon or nucleoside/tide analogues. Antiviral therapy in patients with chronic HCV infections. And treat the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori.)
Some medications may reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as:
Reduce risk of Breast cancer – Tamoxifen or Raloxifene
Reduce risk of colorectal cancer – Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
Reduce risk of prostate cancer —finasteride
Reduce cancer incidence in patients with type 2 diabetes – Metformin
The risk/benefit ratio for chemoprevention must be evaluated for individual cases. We suggest that you talk with your physicians regarding prophylactic medications.
10. Get Routine Cancer Screenings
Mammogram – breast cancer
Pap smear – cervical cancer
Colonoscopy – colorectal cancer
Skin Cancer – skin cancer screening by a dermatologist
Rectal Exam and PSA – Prostate Cancer
Chest x-ray and/or Chest CT – Lung Cancer