World Cancer Day is on the 4th of February every year to raise awareness and provide cancer information.
7 causes and prevention of cancer
Cancer awareness is important for cancer prevention.
Cancer is a blanket term for a group of diseases that affects the body. It occurs when abnormal or tumour cells grow outside their usual domain into other organs.
Cancer is the leading cause of death globally. About 10 million people die from cancer every year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these are the most popular cases of cancer; breast cancer (2.26 million cases); lung cancer (2.21 million cases); colon and rectum cancer (1.93 million cases); prostate cancer (1.41 million cases); skin cancer (non-melanoma) (1.20 million cases); and stomach cancer (1.09 million cases).
Causes of cancer
Although genetics play a huge role in getting cancer, WHO reports these as the causes of cancer;
- Ultraviolet and ionizing radiation
- Asbestos found in walls, tiles and ceilings
- Tobacco smoke
- Aflatoxin (a food contaminant)
- Arsenic (a water contaminant)
- Infections from viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
13% of cancers are caused by virus-like Helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus.
7. Lifestyle factors like excessive tobacco and alcohol and air pollution can lead to cancer.
How to prevent cancer
- Early detection is one of the ways to prevent cancer from leading to death. Regular checkups are important for women. There are various ways to check for breast cancer, and in some places pap smear for cervical cancer is free.
- Engage in physical activity
- Avoid tobacco
- Do not yourself to ultraviolet rays from the sun and some devices like tanning beds.
- Get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B
- Avoiding air pollution from radioactive places like old buildings or war zones
- Eat healthily
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