Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. For some people, it’s an unfortunate reality. For others, it’s a fate they want to avoid at all costs. In either case, cancer prevention and protection are essential for helping you live a long and healthy life. In this blog post, you will find some helpful information about cancer prevention and protection, as well as tips on reducing your risk of developing cancer. Carcinogenesis is cancer development, so understanding how it occurs is essential to cancer prevention.
There are two main ways a person can be exposed to carcinogens, either prenatally or during adulthood. Different exposures occur depending on a person’s age group. For example, prenatally exposed people are either in utero or exposed through breastfeeding. Other people may be exposed when still in their mother’s womb because of maternal exposure to breast milk because she may have been taking certain medications or chemotherapy.
Risk Factors of Cancer
Cigarettes contain a mixture of chemicals that can produce carcinogens. These chemicals include nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), tars, and heavy metals. Cigarette smoking has been linked to lung and colon cancer, laryngeal cancer (voice box), and oral cavity cancer (mouth). Smoking cigarettes also causes heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung infections.
Certain viruses can increase a person’s cancer risk. Hepatitis B is one virus that increases the risk of liver cancer and cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer, is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. In particular, early exposure to HPV can increase a person’s chances of developing cervical cancer.
In addition to x-rays, other types of radiation, such as UV radiation, are also known carcinogens. Exposure to radiation during childhood and early adulthood may increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
Certain medicines can suppress the immune system, weakening overall immunity and increasing a person’s risk of certain cancers. For example, immunosuppressive drugs used during organ transplantation and after cancer treatment can increase a person\’s risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop several cancers, including cancer of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), pancreas, rectum, bladder, kidney, and liver. In particular, type 2 diabetes increases a person’s chances of developing colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
Environmental factors like chemical exposure, radiation, and air pollution from fossil fuels may increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Prenatal and early childhood exposure to chemicals like DDT, dioxins, and PCBs may increase a person’s chances of developing breast, uterine and testicular cancer.
The Genetics of Cancer
According to HGH DOC C8linic, cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that generally do not grow or divide. Genes in the cell control the growth and division of normal cells. If a gene is damaged or mutated, the cells divide more than they should, causing cancer. This mutation can be caused by viruses, chemicals, radiation, or other substances you are exposed to. There are several types of cancer, each linked to different risk factors. For example, smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, while exposure to UV radiation increases a person’s chances of developing skin cancers (including melanoma). Some carcinogens may also work together to increase the risk of certain cancers.
Prevention of Cancer
Chemoprevention uses certain cancer medications to try and prevent cancer from developing. Some of these drugs include tamoxifen and raloxifene for breast cancer, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for colon cancer, and bevacizumab for colorectal carcinoma.
Don’t use tobacco
Smoking cigarettes can lead to several types of cancer. In particular, cigarette smoking has been linked to lung and colon cancer, laryngeal cancer (voice box), and oral cavity cancer (mouth). Smoking can cause other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung infections.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential because they contain antioxidants that can help prevent certain cancers. Antioxidants also boost a person’s immune system, decreasing their chances of developing certain types of cancer, including colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
Be physically Active
Exercise is essential because it may reduce your risk of developing cancer, including specific skin and uterine (endometrial) cancers. During exercise, you also use up stored energy, which reduces your blood levels of estrogens and other hormones that are known carcinogens.
Protect yourself from the sun
Sunlight can be harmful, especially when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, damaging your skin and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Wear sunscreen whenever you go outside to protect yourself from these rays.
Some vaccines are available and may help decrease a person’s chances of developing certain types of cancer. For example, the HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer.
Get regular medical care
Visiting a doctor regularly is essential to diagnose possible cancers before they become cancerous. Early detection allows for earlier treatment and can significantly increase the chances of recovery.