In a report released by the International Union against Cancer (UICC), of the 12 million people who are diagnosed with cancer every year worldwide nearly 40 percent could prevent this life-threatening disease by changing their lifestyles and obtaining vaccines in order to protect themselves against infection.
According to MSNBC.com, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and the total number of cases globally is increasing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of global cancer deaths is projected to rise by 45 percent from 2007 to 2030 from 7.9 million to 11.5 million deaths, driven partly by a growing and aging global population.
“If there was an announcement that somebody had discovered a cure for 40 percent of the world’s cancers, there would quite justifiably be huge jubilation,” UICC president David Hill told Reuters in a telephone interview. “But the fact is that we now have the knowledge to prevent 40 percent of cancers. The tragedy is we’re not using it.”
Cervical and liver cancer can both be prevented by obtaining vaccines, since these two cancers are caused by an infection. The UICC said it wanted to focus policymakers’ attention on cancer-preventing vaccines — like ones made by GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co against the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer, and others against hepatitis B, which causes liver disease and cancer.
The experts said the risk of developing cancer could potentially be reduced by up to 40 percent if full immunization and prevention measures were deployed and combined with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating healthily, limiting alcohol intake and reducing sun exposure.
As found on about.com, here are eight lifestyle changes that could help prevent cancer:
Preventing Cancer Tip #1- Avoid Smoking and Exposure to Smoke
Smoking is responsible for many types of cancer including lung cancer. One of the best ways to prevent cancer is to quit smoking or never even start. Smoking is the most significant cancer risk factor that we can reduce.
Prevent Cancer Tip #2- Practice Sun Safety
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. In fact over one million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. However, it’s also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Avoid UV ray exposure by wearing sunscreen, avoiding mid-day sun, wearing protective clothing and staying away from tanning beds.
Prevent Cancer Tip #3- Eat Fruits and Veggies
A diet rich in fruits and veggies greatly reduced your risk of developing cancer and many other conditions. Green, orange, and yellow fruits and veggies are best at preventing cancer. Dark fruits like blueberries as well as cruciferous veggies likes broccoli also have anti-cancer properties.
Prevent Cancer Tip #4- Limit Red Meat and Animal Fat
A diet high in animal fat increases the risk for several types of cancer including colon cancer. A diet high in fat is also a major cause of obesity which is also a risk factor for many types of cancer.
Prevent Cancer Tip #5- Limit Alcohol Intake
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly increases the risk factor for many types of cancer. Men who drink merely 2 alcoholic drinks per day and women who have 1 per day significantly increase their risk factors.
Prevent Cancer Tip #6- Exercise
The American Cancer Society recommends exercising 30 minutes, at least 5 days a week for cancer prevention. By doing this you can reduce your risk for many types of cancer.
Prevent Cancer Tip #7- Practice Safe Sex
Unsafe sex can result in the infection of the human papillomairus (HPV), a known cause for cervical cancer a risk factor for many other types of cancer. HIV/AIDS is also associated with some types of cancer.
Prevent Cancer Tip #8- Get Screened Regularly
Cancer screening tests can be useful not only in detecting cancer, but also helping prevent it. Screening tests like the colonoscopy and Pap smear can detect abnormal cellular changes before they turn cancerous. Other cancer screening tests are available and may be useful for early detection, but not necessarily cancer prevention. Prostate cancer screening through digital rectal exams and PSA tests can help detect prostate cancer early. Mammograms and other imaging tools are also recommended to detect breast cancer in women. However, these tests need to be done regularly.