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Aware ▪ Detect ▪ Prevent : Cancer

India observes cancer awareness day on the month of November (7th Nov.) every year to raise awareness about early detection and lifestyle choices that increase the risk of cancer. The day was first introduced by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan in September 2014. Every year an approx. 1.1 million people are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is a disease that is curable if detected in the early stages. According to WHO, ‘30% - 50% of cancer is curable’.

There are different types of cancer:

· Carcinomas

· Sarcomas

· Leukemia

· Lymphoma

Briefly; Carcinomas cancer occurs in our Skin, Breasts, kidney, Liver, Lungs, Pancreas, Prostate gland, Head and Neck. Sarcomas cancer occurs in our Bone or soft-tissue of the body such as cartilage, fat, muscles, blood vessels, fibrous-tissue or any other connecting or supporting tissue of the body. Leukemia cancer occurs in the blood forming tissues of our body including the bone-marrow and the lymphatic system. Lymphoma cancer occurs in the infection fighting cells of our immune system including the bone-marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus gland.

All these types of Cancer are curable with early detection and for that cancer screenings are necessary. If you come across or doubt any symptoms then you should not be hesitant or scared of the procedure and rather head up for cancer screening tests. Not to forget the positive part, early detection can cure cancer completely. There are other ways to prevent or lower the increasing risk of cancer by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Cancer is a disease which may cause for few lifestyle choices.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle that can reduce the risk of cancer are:

Avoiding Tobacco Products

Tobacco products consists nicotine that narrows arteries and increase blood pressure and flow of blood, carbon-monoxide damages bodily tissues, tar narrows the bronchioles, toxic chemicals such as benzene causes abnormality in cell functioning, arsenic directly harms by causing cancer and formaldehyde causes irritation to eyes, throat, nose and excessive overdose of formaldehyde can choke one to death or burn lungs with chemicals. Now, you can estimate a product that contains so many harmful chemicals is surely not something our body can take and reciprocate positively. It will surely show its effects and that may lead to mouth cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer and kidney cancer

Maintaining a healthy diet

Food is something that can make us or break us. Choosing a good diet can befit us in numerous terms. Consuming food consisting high-fat and low fiber can open ends for bowel, lung, prostate and uterine cancer. Food consisting low fat and high-fiber, nutrition and protein helps to build anti-oxidants that lowers the risk of cancer and balances a healthy life in context of other diseases as well.

Maintaining physical fitness and maintaining a healthy weight

Health is life. Maintaining a physical fitness and a healthy weight comes with a functional routine and discipline. To be physically active we should exercise or choose a physical activity in a regular basis. With regular exercise regime and a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight comes handy. Maintaining a healthy weight just not talks about not being fat but also not being too skinny. Obesity or being underweight will affect the balance of our health and a lifestyle choice will lead to cancer.

Avoid consuming alcohol

We all know consuming alcohol is one of the common reasons of cancer as well as other deadly diseases. Yet in today’s time completely ignoring alcohol isn’t seen everywhere. Consuming even a little amount of alcohol can increase the risk of mouth, pharynx, larynx, lung, esophagus, breast, bowel and liver cancer if it comes along with smoking. Though it is great if one could ignore alcohol absolutely but, if not so, men should not exceed more than one and a half of standard drink and women should not exceed more than one standard drink a day.

Take care of your skin

With passing time our environment is majorly affected by global warming and ultra violet ray isn’t something that is good for our skin. Though skin cancer is highly curable if detected early. At situation dermatologists can cure skin cancer by removing the portion of affected area with a layer of normal skin only if the cancer is at its early stage. To avoid skin cancer we can choose to stay away or protect ourselves from direct sunlight. Remember, UV rays are also reflective and can harm our skin on cloudy or non-sunny days. Always apply sun-screen before stepping under the sunlight. Try to avoid direct sunlight of the mid-day. Though, it is not possible to completely avoid sun but covering the maximum part of our skin with reflective or dark coloured clothes and clothes suitable to our skin will prevent us from the risk of skin cancer.

Being vaccinated

Choosing to be vaccinated by HPV vaccine and Hepatitis B is preventive. HPV disease causes several kinds of cancerous disease and is harmful. Hepatitis B prevents Liver cancer. People who work at places where bodily fluids are exposed, people who have not been properly vaccinated at an early age, people who are exposed to unprotected sexual activity must be vaccinated by HPV. It is a STD and is also related to multiple cancerous diseases.

Avoid risks

Second-hand smoking: An active smoker exhales the smoked tobacco in the air and a person who is not inhaling the smoke directly but inhaling the exhaled smoked tobacco is second-hand smoking. If a woman is pregnant and smoking the child would be second-hand smoking and if a person is smoking in front of a pregnant woman, the woman would be second-hand smoking and the child would be third-hand smoking and is dangerous for the unborn child and the mother. Avoid second-hand or passive smoking. It can cause harm to you as well as to people around you.

Sharing needle: A person who is using one needle to inject them or someone else more than once will be at high risk of cancer as well as STDs. Avoid using one needle more than once for injecting.

Do not avoid your health care

Whenever we fall sick for any flu or any other manageable health concern, we knowingly skip visiting the doctor and there are many points in our lifestyle where we should not. Any sickness that grows for more than a week or keep re-appearing after a due course of time than it is must to visit the doctor immediately. Taking care of the health and not ignoring it is extremely important as which manageable disease might be a symptom of cancerous disease we may not know and as always, prevention is better than cure.

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