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Cancer – Know how to prevent it

Cancer is a genetic disease that occurs because of certain mutations (changes) to our genes

Cancer – Know how to prevent it

Cancer is a genetic disease that occurs because of certain mutations (changes) to our genes; which determine the way our bodies’ cells function, particularly their growth and division. Anyone can get cancer at any time, in any part of the body when genetic changes cause cells to stop growing normally, making them cancerous. With the incidence of cancer growing, more people are visiting the best cancer treatment hospitals in Delhi, consulting the best cancer specialists, all in order to fight this disease and live life once again.

About one in eight Indians is developing some form of malignancy during their lifetime. These are worrying statistics, however, continued research and studies on understanding cancer have made great progress in helping doctors understand the way cancer cells behave, and today, cancer diagnoses and treatment have improved greatly, with a lot of breakthroughs in cancer medicines to boot. Screening tests do help detect malignancies in the earliest stages, but you can always look out for symptoms of cancer. Look out for changes in bowel or bladder habits, a sore that is not getting better, unexpected bleeding or discharge, a lump in the breast or elsewhere, indigestion or difficulty while swallowing, clear changes in a wart or mole, a persistent cough or hoarseness. These are basic and rough measures but a useful reminder on listening to your body and reporting these sounds of distress to your doctor.

What most of us believe is that getting cancer is always due to bad luck: it’s not.

What if we told you there are certain measures you can take (and help others take) to lower the risk of getting cancer.

Anyone can lower their risk of getting a lot of common cancer by making healthy choices. Regular screening tests are a great way to detect some cancers early on; this is when treatment is most effective and works best. Vaccines also help in preventing some kinds of cancer. There are however, other things you need to be on the lookout for, read on to learn more about lowering your risk of getting cancer.

Of course early diagnosis is crucial, but you can do one better. You can significantly reduce your risk of getting cancer and if this sounds too good to be true, it's not. Scientists at Harvard have estimated that up to 75% of all cancer deaths can be prevented by following these steps.

1. Stay away from tobacco in all its forms, which also includes staying away from secondhand smoke. Don’t consume tobacco around your family either, because that will put them at risk. Lung cancer is the most fatal cancer in India and you don’t really need us to tell you why smoking is harmful for you and your family.

2. Maintain a proper, balanced diet and try to avoid processed food and junk food in order to stay away from saturated fats, keep your red meat consumption low as it can increase the risk of colon cancer and even lead to more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Increase the intake of clean, organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Remain physically active as regularly regular activity can help reduce the risk of contracting colon cancer. Regular exercise has also shown promise in reducing a woman's risk of getting breast and potentially, even reproductive cancers. It’s not just about losing the kilos; exercise helps protect you even if you aren’t losing weight.

4. Try and stay as lean as you can, especially around the tummy. Being obese or overweight does increase the risk of developing many forms of cancer. A healthy body and body mass index can help your cause greatly. Calories always count; and if you’re in need for losing some weight or slimming down, consume lesser calories and burn more of them with exercise till you achieve the ideal and desired weight.

5. If you drink, limit the intake to about one drink a day. Excess alcohol is a risk factor when it comes to cancers of the mouth and neck, liver, colon and breast cancer.

6. Avoid unrequited exposure to radiation by getting medical imaging studies only when necessary. Protect yourself from UV radiation in sunlight, and don’t worry about electromagnetic radiation from power lines or radiofrequency radiation from microwaves and cell phones; these do not cause cancer.

7. Make sleep a priority as the lack of sleep increases can cause weight gain, which is a cancer risk factor.

Preventing cancer altogether. Get in touch with us and consult some of the best cancer doctors in Delhi at Aakash Healthcare.

Dr. Arun Kumar Giri
Surgical Oncology

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