It has been estimated that nearly half of the deaths due to cancer in 2017 could have been prevented. While much progress has been achieved in the diagnostics and treatment of a wide range of cancer types over the past decade, prevention remains the most impactful way individuals can stem the risk of contacting the deadly disease.
It is common and universally accepted knowledge that smoking or using tobacco products significantly increases the likelihood of getting cancer, and efforts to increase awareness of the health related risks of tobacco use has had an impact on the occurrences of lung and other respiratory cancers. Some studies are indicating that rising levels of obesity due to inactivity and sedimentary lifestyles are having an unfavorable effect on the rise in esophagus, colorectal, breast, endometrium and kidney cancers.
Diets high in fruits and vegetables have shown to be effective against many cancers. Regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, considerably reduce cancer risk. Reducing alcohol use, avoiding environmental pollution, limiting occupational exposure to known carcinogens and careless exposure to radiation are other factors that will impact the risk of getting cancer.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is making its cancer prevention recommendations in order to help people live cancer-free lives and to encourage public policies that reduce the incidence of cancer more widely. “Our Cancer Prevention Recommendations come from our latest Expert Report and from the conclusions of an independent panel of experts – they represent a package of healthy lifestyle choices which, together, can make an enormous impact on people’s likelihood of developing cancer and other non-communicable diseases over their lifetimes,” says Professor Martin Wiseman, Medical and Scientific Adviser. The recommendations help people reduce the risk of developing cancer and are based on the latest science available.
“The Cancer Prevention Recommendations are the centerpiece of our new report,” says Dr. Kate Allen, World Cancer Research Fund International’s Executive Director of Science & Public Affairs. “They form a global blueprint, a package that people can follow to help reduce their risk of cancer. They are useful to scientists because they can help determine future directions of research. They are useful to policymakers because they can inform the development of policy to help people follow them. They are useful to communities and families and individuals to help them reduce their cancer risk, and also to cancer survivors to highlight the best ways to further reduce their cancer risk. They are also helpful to health professionals in their work with cancer patients and the general public.”
The well-worn adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is sage advice when attempting to lower the risk of getting cancer.