Recently, the American Cancer Society has released a cancer primary prevention program in the top journal on oncology. Primary prevention is how people who don’t have cancer can prevent cancer. The report pointed out that a large part of cancer can be prevented and many risk factors are controllable.
The report pointed out that the main cancer prevention interventions include tobacco control, alcohol restriction, weight control, healthy diet, exercise, prevention of pathogen infection, sun protection, and reduction of medical radiation. Among them, tobacco control is a top priority.
The report notes that tobacco use remains the leading cause of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Since 1991, cancer deaths in the United States have decreased by 26%, more than half of which is attributed to a decline in smoking rates. Quitting smoking is good for people of all ages. Smoking causes a shortened life expectancy of more than 10 years.
2. Limited wine
The latest report in 2018 shows that drinking ≥3 servings a day (1 serving of 14 grams of alcohol) may increase the risk of stomach cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that no more than one female drink per day and no more than two males. Evidence suggests that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer.
3. Eat less processed meat
Unhealthy diets are most closely related to obesity, including sugary drinks and fast food. High dietary fiber diets and Mediterranean diets reduce obesity.
Sedentary and like watching TV, computers and mobile phones can also lead to obesity, and aerobic exercise such as walking can prevent obesity. The report states that vegetables and fruits contain a large number of anti-cancer substances, including vitamins, phytochemicals and dietary fiber.
Processed meats (such as hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and deli meats) are classified as carcinogens, primarily leading to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Unprocessed red meat (such as beef, lamb, etc.) is classified as a possible carcinogen. The risk of colorectal cancer increased by 17% and 18%, respectively, by ingesting 100 grams of red meat or 50 grams of processed meat per day.
Therefore, the guidelines recommend eating at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, preferring whole grains rather than refined grains, limiting the intake of meat and processed meat.
4. Reduce the chance of infection
Currently, a total of 11 pathogens have been identified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), including:
1 kind of bacteria: Helicobacter pylori.
Seven viruses: hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, human papilloma virus, human herpesvirus, human immunodeficiency virus, and the like.
Three species of parasites: liver flukes in Thailand, Clonorchis sinensis, and Schistosoma japonicum.
The report pointed out that some of the above cancer-causing pathogens (such as hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus) can be vaccinated to prevent infection.
At the same time, the transmission of these pathogens should be prevented, including active treatment of infections, improvement of environmental hygiene, prevention of iatrogenic cross-infection, blood donation and organ donor alert screening, promotion of responsible sexual behaviour, and training of medical workers to treat body fluids.
Solar ultraviolet radiation can cause skin melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. In addition, the ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning equipment (indoor sunbeds, tanning boxes, sun lamps) should not be underestimated.
Studies have shown that exposure to 10 tanning devices can increase the risk of skin melanoma by 34%. Therefore, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anti-UV exposure, including avoiding direct sun exposure, proper use of sunscreen, wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, wearing sun protection clothing, and avoiding indoor tanning equipment.
6. Reduce medical radiation
The International Agency for Research on Cancer believes that all ionizing radiation is carcinogenic. Data show that 48% of ionizing radiation comes from medical devices, including exposure during diagnosis and treatment. Medical ionizing radiation is associated with a variety of cancers, with the greatest risk of CT.
7. Reduce indoor building materials emissions
Radon is a radioactive gas that is widely found in nature. Building materials are the main source of indoor rafts. The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends that the indoor radon concentration ≥ 4.0 pCi/L exceeds the standard. The World Health Organization recommends that the indoor radon concentration should be <2.7pCi/L.