Cancer Prevention lifestyle

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Jiraporn Chompikul


At least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable. A person’s cancer risk can be reduced with healthy choices like avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, protecting your skin from the sun and avoiding air pollution, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping a healthy weight, preventing infection and being  physically  active  and  stress  free.  However,  an  appropriate  uptake  of  cancer  screening  tests  is  also recommended  to  prevent  cancer.

Tobacco  use  is  the  single  greatest  avoidable  risk  factor  for  cancer  mortality  worldwide,  causing  an estimated 22% of cancer deaths per year. Tobacco smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, oesophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix. Alcohol consupmtion is also a risk factor for many cancer types including cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum  and  breast.  Risk of cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.  The  risk  from  heavy  drinking  for  several  cancer  types  (e.g.  oral cavity,  pharynx,  larynx  and oesophagus) substantially increases if the person is also a heavy smoker. Limiting alcoholic drinks to 2 for men  and  1  for women  a day  was recommended  to  live  healthy,  if  consumed  at  all.

Dietary modification is another important approach to cancer control. There is a link between overweight and  obesity  to  many  types  of  cancer  such  as  oesophagus,  colorectum,  breast,  endometrium  and  kidney. Diets  high  in  fruits  and  vegetables  may  have  a  protective  effect  against  many  cancers.  Conversely, excess consumption of red and preserved meat may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. You should eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans while you limit consumption  of  red  meats  (such  as  beef,  pork  and  lamb)  and  avoid  processed  meats.  In addition, healthy eating habits that prevent the development of diet-associated cancers will also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, will considerably reduce cancer risk.  You should be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.

Infectious  agents  are  responsible  for  almost  22%  of  cancer  deaths  in  the  developing  world  and  6%  in industrialized countries. Viral hepatitis B and C cause cancer of the liver. Human papilloma virus infection causes cervical cancer. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori increases the risk of stomach cancer. Preventive measures include vaccination and prevention of infection and infestation.

Environmental  pollution  of  air,  water  and  soil  with  carcinogenic  chemicals  accounts  for  1–4%  of all  cancers.  Exposure  to  carcinogenic  chemicals  in  the  environment  can  occur  through  drinking  water  or pollution of indoor and ambient air. Worldwide, indoor air pollution from domestic coal fires is responsible for approximately 1.5% of all lung  cancer  deaths.  You should live in clean environment and avoid exposing to the air pollution.

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How to Cite
Chompikul J. Cancer Prevention lifestyle. J Public Hlth Dev [Internet]. 2016 Sep. 9 [cited 2024 Apr. 18];14(1):1-2. Available from: