Cancer Prevention Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

Every year, 12.7 million people globally are diagnosed with cancer and 7.6 million will die from the disease this year. Cancer causes more deaths than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The World Health Organization projects that without immediate action, the worldwide number of deaths due to cancer will increase by almost 80% by 2030. Research suggests that one-third of cancer deaths are preventable. People can reduce their risk for cancer by regular cancer screenings, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, avoiding excessive exposure to the harmful rays of the sun and tanning beds, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active.
Early detection is one of the most important factors to surviving cancer. Regular screenings are critical to successfully diagnosing and treating cancer. Individuals of 20 years and older should have frequent health exams, including a cancer-related check-up. SSM Health Care also recommends specific tests for breast, colon and rectal, cervical, uterine, skin, and prostate cancers. Yearly mammograms are recommended for women beginning at age 40, and should continue as long as a woman is in good health. A clinical breast exam (CBE) should be included as a part of a periodic health exam and conducted approximately every three years for women who are in their 20s, 30s, and every year for women over 40. Women over 20 should conduct breast self-exams (BSE). Beginning at age 50, men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should be screened. Types of colorectal screening tests include: flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, double contrast barium enema, fecal occult blood test (FOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), and stool DNA test (sDNA). Early detection and treatment of skin cancer are key in increasing the cure rate of the disease. Doctors recommend frequent skin examinations to check for the development of suspicious growths or changes in an existing skin lesion.
According to Cancer Research UK, smoking is by far the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world. Smoking causes more than four in five cases of lung cancer, which has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. Smoking also increases the risk of other cancers including cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, nose and sinuses, esophagus, liver, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder, cervix and bowel, as well as one type of ovarian cancer, and some types of leukemia. Some evidence also suggests that smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer. Research has proven that smoking causes cancer. However, this does not mean that all smokers will definitely get cancer or that all non-smokers won’t. It means that smoking greatly increases the risk of cancer. On average, smokers are much more likely to get cancer than those who do not smoke. It is a fact that half of all smokers will eventually die from cancer or other smoking-related illnesses. About a quarter of...

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