Cancer prevention is a popular topic that people wish me to write more in my Cytogenetics and Cancer Research blog. Cancer prevention is the best possible way to reduce the death rate of cancer worldwide. According to Fundamentals of Cancer Prevention, written by David S. A. and Lisa M. H., cancer prevention research can be divided to 3 approaches to target different aspects in order to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary prevention.
Primary Cancer Prevention
Primary cancer prevention is an approach to reduce the impact of carcinogens. We can do this through administration of a chemopreventive agent or remove the environmental carcinogens. The main aim of primary prevention is to prevent a cancer from the very beginning to the developing by reducing individual risk.
There are many primary cancer prevention methods which include the lifestyle modification or interventions that modify risk. These methods will become more effective if those cancers in which causes are known.
Below are some of the factors that can help to reduce overall cancer incidence:
i. Minimize the exposure to carcinogens. For example, we should avoid from consuming tobacco which contains carcinogen.
ii. Dietary modification. For example, we should take balanced meal and reduce the consuming of salt, sugar and high cholesterol foods.
iii. Increasing physical activity. For example, we should do some exercises during our daily life like jogging, swimming and so on to keep our body fit.
As we all know, unhealthy diet and tobacco use are the leading risk factors for cancer. Smoking cessation is the best way to avoid ourselves from cancer developing. Benefis of quitting smoking begin within the first year of stopping and continue to increase. If you wish to know more about the benefits of smoking cessation, you may read the 15 Benefits of Smoking Cessation. In addition, the role of diet, nutrition and maintaining a healthy body weight is critical to lessen the cancer risk.
Secondary Cancer Prevention
Secondary cancer prevention is an approach to detect the abnormal changes at the beginning of the development of malignancy. It involves screening and early detection methods like mammogram, pap test and so on. This can help us to identify any abnormal changes of our body before they become cancerous. Therefore, it is effective to prevent cancer from fully developing. Sometimes, secondary cancer prevention can involve the treatment of precancerous lesions in an attempt to reverse carcinogenesis so that the lesion can regress.
Tertiary Cancer Prevention
Tertiary cancer prevention is an approach to control the cancer and prevention of disease-related complications. It involves a variety of aspects of patient care such as quality of life, adjuvant therapies, surgical intervention and palliative care.
In conclusion, we can see that the primary cancer prevention is the main role of cancer prevention. Unfortunately, the primary prevention research and efforts are largely underfunded. This lack of prioritization cause the delays in improving and delivering early detection and prevention methods that can save millions of lives.
Do you know any methods of cancer prevention? Come and share with us! Prevention is always better than cure!