National Cancer Prevention Month

National Cancer Prevention Month
1 Feb 2024
9 mins
Table Of Content
National Cancer Prevention Month

    "Cancer is a word, not a sentence"!


    February is recognized as a month of hope and love, and it is celebrated worldwide as National Cancer Prevention Month. The burden of cancer increases day by day, year by year, which emphasizes the importance of spreading awareness about cancer to everyone in the world. Today, we are going to explore the importance of National Cancer Prevention Month and various prevention measures against cancer. Continue to read for more information!

    National Cancer Prevention Day: Insights On Cancer Awareness


    National Cancer Prevention Month is celebrated every year in February to raise awareness and encourage cancer prevention, detection, and treatment all over the world.


    Cancer is the most common non-communicable disease, which results in the abnormal growth and spread of cells in the body. It was estimated that about 10 million people died due to cancer in 2020, which is a leading cause of death all over the world. Now, anyone can get cancer, and there are no exact ways of preventing it. This is because the exact causes of cancer remain unknown. However, there are various known factors that increase the risk of cancer, which can be prevented before it affects our health.


    9 Common Risk Factors Of Cancer


    To protect our health from cancer, we need to determine the risk factors first. Certain risk factors that can cause cancer are given below:


    • Family history: Individuals who have a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine, or colorectal cancer are at an increased risk of developing it.
    • Smoking and Tobacco: The carcinogen (at least 70 chemicals) present in the cigarette or tobacco can weaken the immune system and make it hard to fight against cancer.
    • Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol three or more times per day may increase the risk of pancreatic and stomach cancers.
    • Hormones: Individuals may develop breast, endometrium, ovarian, prostate, testis, thyroid, and osteosarcoma cancer due to hormone-related changes.
    • Chemical exposure: Exposure to chemical carcinogens that are present in the environment can increase the risk of cancer.
    • Infections: Individuals infected by certain viruses like human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B or C virus may have an increased risk of reproductive, head, and neck squamous cell cancers (oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas) and liver cancer.
    • Radiation Exposure: Individuals who are long-term exposed to high-energy radiation may have an increased risk of cancer due to DNA damage.
    • Diet: It plays a major role in increasing or reducing the risk of cancer.
    • Obesity: Individuals with obesity or overweight may have an increased risk of cancer.

    8 Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Developing Cancer 


    1.  Stop or limit Smoking And Tobacco Products 

    Tobacco use, whether through smoking or chewing, has been linked to several types of cancer, including lungs, mouth, voice box, throat, pancreas, kidney, cervix, and bladder. Even exposure to secondhand smoke can raise the risk of lung cancer. To reduce the risk of developing cancer, avoiding or limiting tobacco is crucial. Consult with your healthcare provider or seek expert advice (NHS experts) to quit the habit of smoking. They can offer support and resources to help quit, such as stop-smoking products and other quitting methods.


    2. Get Vaccinated 

    The risk of certain types of cancer, like cervical and genital cancers, can be reduced by vaccination. It's important to protect against viral infections. This can be done by getting vaccinated. Vaccinations are available for the following viruses that, when taken, may help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, 

    • Hepatitis B: This virus can increase the risk of liver cancer. High-risk groups for contracting hepatitis B include those with multiple sexual partners, drug users, and healthcare/public safety workers who may come in contact with infected blood or bodily fluids.
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV): It is a sexually transmitted virus that can increase a person's risk of developing certain types of cancers. HPV vaccination can help to prevent the risk of cancer, which is related to HPV infections.


    3. Eat A Healthy Diet 

    Diet is one factor that can be altered to reduce the risk of cancer. Research has shown that certain foods, such as processed meats, red meat, deep-fried foods, salted fish, sugar-sweetened drinks, fast food, and hot beverages, may increase the likelihood of developing cancer. Avoiding regular intake of these foods may help in reducing the risk of cancer. 

    To reduce the risk of cancer, incorporate a diet that has a high intake of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can be added to the daily diet. Choosing low-calorie options and limiting consumption of high-calorie foods is equally essential. Additionally, avoiding excessive consumption of refined or processed sugars is important.


    4. Maintaining A Healthy Weight 

    Obesity has been linked with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including kidney, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, esophagus, colon, thyroid, multiple myeloma, and uterus. Being obese also raises the likelihood of developing severe health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, obesity can cause chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalances, which may further increase the risk of cancer.


    5. Stay Physically Active

    A healthy weight can be maintained by eating a balanced diet and engaging in physical activities regularly. You can try brisk walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, cycling, or any other exercise you like to maintain a healthy weight. 


    6. Protect Yourself From The Harmful Rays Of The Sun

    Skin cancer happens to be one of the most common and preventable forms of cancer. To reduce your risk of skin cancer, follow these tips,

    • Avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating
    • Seek shade from the sun and wear protective clothing, such as a hat and sunglasses, to cover your skin
    • Avoid using tanning beds or sunlamps


    7. Limit Your Alcohol Intake 

    Drinking too much alcohol increases the chances of developing cancers in individuals. Heavy alcohol consumption also elevates the risk of breast cancer (7%) in women. Additionally, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption combined amplify the risk of aero-digestive tract cancer (lips, mouth, larynx, pharynx, throat, esophagus, and colon).


    8. Get Regular Screenings Done 

    Early detection is the key to treating cancer successfully, and it can be done by regular self-examinations and getting screened for cancers such as breast, skin, colon, and cervix. Additionally, regular screenings are even more important for people with a family history of cancer. 

    Together, We Can Fight Cancer


    Cancers can happen to anyone. Reducing the risk factors is a great way of reducing the risk of developing cancers. It is important to educate our family and friends about the various risk factors of cancer. Also, early detection and regular screening can help manage cancer better. On this National Cancer Prevention Month, Let's take an oath to spread awareness among everyone and encourage our people to get screened for cancer, especially if they have a family history, as it is better to be safe than sorry. 

     Learn, share, and prevent. Together, we can conquer cancer.

    Written by
    Ishwarya RMedical Content Writer
    AboutIshwary R is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her PG from the University of Madras, Chennai. She did her final year project in CSIR-CLRI, Adyar, entitled Studies on production of Biosurfactant by bacillus subtilis using Leather industry bioproduct. She did her offline internship and learned clinical Laboratory skills in Billroth hospital and her online internship in SS Healthcare. She strengthened her skills in research, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content, blogs, and scientific articles.
    Tags :Cancer prevention Cancer risk factorsNational cancer prevention month 2024Prevention measures