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   Feb 04

CANCER- PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

As it is perfectly said that “prevention is better than cure” which held true for the diseases like cancer because firstly once u have got cancer it’s a lifetime morbidity with early mortality too, and many Factors responsible in the causation of cancer are now known and preventable some of which are-
1. Tobacco- responsible for most of the cancers
2. Alcohol intake
3. Dietary factors- habit of eating smoked fish responsible for the stomach cancer in Japan.
4. Physical inactivity (sedentary habits).
5. Exposure to carcinogens mainly chemical like arsenic, lead.
6. Viruses like HPV virus, Hepatitis B virus, cytomegalovirus (one fifth of the cancers globally caused by these
viruses).
7. Others like air pollution (indoor as well as outdoor pollution), medications, ultraviolet and ionizing
radiations.

“TOGETHER IT IS POSSIBLE” is the theme for the world cancer day 2012, celebrated on 4th February 2012. We can definitely reduce the risk of cancer if we concentrate on prevention strategies of the cancer prevention mainly vaccination and screening for the disease.
Many cancers if diagnosed in the early stage can be treated and mortality can be prevented by screening tests like breast, cervical and colon cancers. Others can be prevented by vaccination e.g. cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus and liver cancer by the hepatitis B virus.
Early diagnosis of the cancer can prevent nearly 30-40% of the cancer related mortality which can be done by making general population aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer (danger signs) some of which are-
1. Lump or hard area in the breast (breast cancer)
2. A change in wart or mole (skin cancer)
3. A persistent change in the digestive or bowel habits (any gastro-intestinal cancer)
4. A persistent cough or hoarseness (larynx, lung or oesophageal cancer)
5. Excessive loss of blood through genitor-urinary tract (cervical or vaginal or uterine cancer)
6. Blood loss from any natural orifice.
7. A swelling or sore that doesn’t get better.
8. Unexplained loss of weight.

While vaccination can prevent the cervical and liver cancer which accounts for the 30-40% cancer globally. Vaccine against human papilloma virus (4,11, 16,18) can reduce 70% cases of cervical cancer and against hepatitis B can reduce 20-25% cases of liver cancer.

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2 Comments

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