Every year the number of cancer patients is constantly growing. Experts associate this trend with various circumstances: an increase in life expectancy, environmental pollution, bad habits, physical inactivity, heredity and other reasons.
High mortality from oncological diseases is primarily associated with the patient’s late treatment to the doctor, when the disease is already difficult to treat. It should be noted that the achievements of modern medicine make it possible to diagnose and completely treat cancer in the early stages, as well as eliminate many precancerous conditions. Primary and secondary cancer prevention plays a huge role in the fight against cancer in developed countries.
Primary prevention of oncological diseases reduces the likelihood of developing a malignant process by 70-90%.
Primary cancer prevention is understood as the prevention of precancerous changes by eliminating adverse environmental factors, lifestyle correction, as well as increasing the body’s resistance.
Primary cancer prevention
It is carried out in the following directions:
This is a set of measures to eliminate human exposure to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances. The list of sources of carcinogens is quite extensive. One of the leading factors in the development of cancer is smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 3,500 chemical compounds, including many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitro-containing substances and aromatic amines, which are strong carcinogens. According to medical literature, about 90% of lung cancer in men is caused by smoking. Smoking also contributes to the development of cancer of the esophagus, bladder and pancreas. Nicotine and tobacco smoke components are recognized as provocateurs of lung cancer. Moreover, a direct association of the number of cigarettes smoked with the probability of developing lung cancer was found. Even passive smokers are considered a risk group, because the incidence of lung cancer in relatives of smokers is twice as high as in ordinary people. In addition, smoking is directly associated with cancer of the uterus, bronchi, larynx, oral cavity, bladder, esophagus.
Unfortunately, a fashionable tan is not always associated with attractiveness and health. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light (both natural and artificial) on the skin can cause the transformation of its cells, which will result in melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer (squamous cell, basal cell). Prolonged lying on the beach or frequent trips to the solarium are especially dangerous for light-skinned people and those whose family history is burdened with skin oncological diseases.
Excessive alcohol consumption also contributes to the development of cancer. So, with the systematic use of more than 120 g of pure alcohol per day, the probability of developing esophageal cancer increases 101 times! At the same time, there is a risk of developing pathology when alcoholism is combined with smoking.
A clear relationship between human mental health and malignant diseases has long been established. Neuropsychiatric injuries, emotional depression and depression increase the likelihood of developing a malignant process in any part of the body.
A balanced diet
The nature of nutrition plays an important role in the development of cancer. It is noted that excessive consumption of meat products and fried dishes increases the risk of malignant neoplasms. For preventive purposes, it is recommended to enrich the diet with plant products with a high content of vitamins A, C and E, which have antioxidant and oncoprotective effects. To protect against the possible development of cancer, it is necessary first of all to exclude from your diet those dishes and products whose components are recognized as potential carcinogens. They are: fried dishes (especially raba and meat), because during frying harmful phenols, cresols and indoles are formed from food proteins; meat and fish smoked products due to the appearance of carcinogens in them-polycyclic hydrocarbons; products rich in animal saturated fats; excessive calories, because excessive energy value can provoke the occurrence of tumors of the intestine, prostate, uterus; alcohol (its components and derivatives inhibit the process of neutralization of carcinogens in the liver, reduces the antitumor ability of immunity, leads to hormonal imbalance in women leading to breast cancer, and is a direct hepatic carcinogen); salt with its daily intake of more than 12 g, then it increases the likelihood of esophageal and stomach cancer; nitrates, which in human in the body, they turn into nitrites, and they transform into carcinogenic nitros compounds. Along with this, you should actively include in your diet foods containing factors that can block or eliminate carcinogens. Such “saviors” are: fiber, because it accelerates the transit of food through the intestine, reducing the duration of its contact with potential carcinogens, and promotes the production of intestinal bacteria butyrate, neutralizing harmful agents (there is a lot of it in legumes, popcorn, many vegetables, fruits, cereals, berries, algae); antioxidants: vitamin A, carotenoids, tocopherol, selenium, ascorbic acid, blocking free radicals (found in tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, melon, carrots, green onions, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli); iodine, because its deficiency is associated with thyroid neoplasms (the source of iodine is kelp, etc. algae); gluconosolates that reduce the risk of cancer of any localization (found in horseradish, mustard, turnips, rutabaga, radish); polyphenols that can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer (found in legumes and green tea); docosohexoenic and eicosopentaenoic acids (seafood, fish and meat of marine animals are rich in them). Biochemical prevention. The purpose of biochemical prevention is to neutralize the blastomatous effect of carcinogenic substances with the help of chemical and/or biological preparations. For example, one example of biochemical prevention is the use of special preparations for water purification from contamination with heavy metals and other carcinogenic compounds.
Medical and genetic prevention
The possibilities of modern medicine allow us to single out families with an unfavorable hereditary predisposition and immunological insufficiency, which increases the risk of malignant tumors. Such people are advised to avoid contact with carcinogens and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Some types of cancer (for example, cervical cancer)they develop due to a viral infection. To date, a vaccine has been developed against certain types of human papillomavirus that cause cervical cancer.
Refusal to self-medicate
Unfortunately, distrust and fear of doctors often lead to treatment by charlatans or self-medication, the source of which is increasingly the Internet. And this is not always a safe event. Some dietary supplements contain questionable ingredients or components that stimulate the activity and growth of all cells (including tumor cells).
Secondary cancer prevention is a medical measure aimed at the diagnosis of precancerous conditions, as well as the detection of oncological diseases in the early stages, which ensures high efficiency of both chemotherapeutic and surgical treatment of the tumor. It is necessary to undergo timely preventive examination and examination by specialists. Based on long-term observations, oncologists have developed whole programs of examination of various organs (X-ray, endoscopic, ultrasound, radioisotope, laboratory, etc.) aimed at timely detection of oncological processes in the population. After all, with early detection, these insidious diseases are treated quite successfully. So, all women (even in the absence of any symptoms) need to visit a gynecologist regularly, at least 1 time a year. And every person who has reached the age of 45 should determine the hidden blood in the feces. If it is present, a more thorough endoscopic examination of the intestine is necessary. In the presence of burdened heredity, regulated examinations are carried out 5 years earlier. If a patient has precancerous metaplasia, then he should visit a doctor and be examined even more often. Tests for cancer markers – proteins produced by tumors – also have some diagnostic value. There are cancer markers specific to certain types and localities of cancer. However, cancer markers can also increase in benign tumors, autoimmune, infectious processes, etc. states.