by S Sharma | 02 FEB 2018
Being aware of the symptoms and making lifestyle changes is imperative
The prevalence of cancer in our country is not uniform all over. There is a difference in the types of cancer that affect people basis rural and urban settings. “Cervical cancer is the most widespread in rural women while in urban women, breast cancer is the most rampant. In case of men, rural people are majorly affected by cancers of the oral cavity while rural men are greatly inflicted by cancer of the lung,” says Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA).
Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases that are caused when a group of abnormal cells begins to grow uncontrollably, often forming a tumor, which can either be benign or malignant. “Although the exact cause of cancer is not known, research indicates that certain risk factors may increase a person’s chances of developing cancer. These include things people cannot control, like age and family history. Lifestyle choices that increase your chances of contracting breast cancer are the usual suspects such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet,” says Dr Aggarwal.
There are four major types of clinical preventive care: immunizations, screening, behavioural counseling (lifestyle changes), and chemoprevention. Screening is the identification of an asymptomatic disease, unhealthy condition, or risk factor. Primary prevention are interventions to keep disease from occurring (eg, immunization for communicable disease); secondary prevention as detection of early asymptomatic disease (eg, screening); and tertiary prevention as reducing complications of disease (eg, eye examinations in patients with diabetes). This nomenclature is applied differently by some other disciplines.
Here are some ways in which one can diagnose and prevent the onset of this condition at an early stage.
Pay attention to symptoms and get yourself checked regularly
Using any type of tobacco puts a person at an increased risk of cancer. Avoiding or stopping the consumption of tobacco is one of the foremost steps in cancer prevention.
Filter tap water properly as this can reduce your exposure to possible carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Get vaccinated on time and as per schedule. For example, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other kinds of cancer.
Drinking plenty of water and other liquids can help in reducing the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and helping to flush them through the bladder faster.
Most importantly, make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which can help ward off diseases
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