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12 tips to prevent Cancer

Cancer prevention encompasses actions taken to reduce the risk of having the disease.

The goal of primary prevention is to stop cancer from developing. This includes avoiding exposure to cancer risk factors and adopting a healthy way of life.

The goal of secondary prevention is to detect and treat premalignant diseases (eg, damage caused by the HPV virus or polyps in the walls of the intestine) or asymptomatic early cancers.

- 12 Ways to Prevent against Cancer


-Do not smoke!

This is the most important rule to prevent cancer, especially in the lung, oral cavity, larynx, pharynx and esophagus. When smoking, more than 7,000 compounds and chemicals are released into the environment that are inhaled by smokers and non-smokers. Stopping smoking and polluting the environment is critical to cancer prevention.

-Healthy eating protects against cancer.

An intake rich in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, and poor in ultra-processed foods, such as ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat foods, sweetened beverages, among others, can prevent cancer. Food must be tasty, respect local culture, provide pleasure and include regional foods.

-Maintain proper body weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life is one of the most important ways to protect yourself against cancer. A healthy diet, in addition to providing nutrients that protect against cancer, favors the maintenance of a healthy weight. The recommendation is to avoid ultra-processed foods and make plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and other grains, seeds, nuts, the basis of the diet.

The physical activity  also contributes to the maintenance of healthy body weight. For the practice of physical activity, there is no need to be those modalities that require the hiring of services such as gyms; activities such as walking in both free time and commuting, cycling, dancing, etc. are good options.

The creation of environments that encourage healthy eating and physical activity throughout life is essential for cancer control.

-Practice physical activities.

You can, for example, walk, dance, change the elevator for the stairs, take the dog for a walk, take care of the house or the garden or seek modalities such as street running, gymnastics, weight training, among others. Trying and finding that modality you like is important to start and/or increase the enjoyment of physical activity.

Enjoy and try to make these activities a collective moment, pleasant and fun, with family and friends, or make physical activity an introspective moment in which you connect with yourself, finally, it is possible to fit physical activity into each one's routine, through active commuting going to work or other activities walking or cycling are different possibilities.

-Breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is the first healthy eating action. The breastfeeding up to two years or more and is limited to six months of a child's life, protects mothers against breast cancer and children against childhood obesity. From six months of age onwards, breastfeeding should be supplemented according to the tip on Healthy eating and protection against cancer.

-Women between 25 and 64 years old should have a preventive exam for cervical cancer every three years. 

The changes in the cervix of the uterus cellsthey are easily discovered on preventive examination (also known as Papanicolaou), and are curable in almost all cases. Therefore, it is important to carry out this exam periodically. As important as taking the exam is knowing the result, following the medical guidelines and the indicated treatment.

-Vaccinate girls ages 9-14 and boys ages 11-14 against HPV.

Vaccination against HPV, available at SUS, and the preventive exam (Papanicolaou) complement each other as actions to prevent cervical cancer. Even vaccinated women, when they reach age 25, should have a preventive test every three years, as the vaccine does not protect against all HPV subtypes.

Special groups, such as people with immunodeficiency caused by HIV, should follow specific guidelines. For women with immunosuppression, living with HIV/AIDS, transplanted and cancer bearers, the vaccine is indicated up to 45 years of age. 

-Get vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Liver cancer is related to infection by the virus that causes hepatitis B, and the vaccine is an important means of preventing this cancer. The Ministry of Health provides the vaccine against this virus at health posts in the country for people of all ages.

-Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.

Its consumption, in any amount or type, contributes to the risk of developing cancer. Furthermore, combining alcoholic beverages with tobacco increases the possibility of developing the disease.

-Avoid eating processed meat.

Processed meats such as ham, sausage, sausage, bacon, salami, bologna, turkey breast and turkey blanquet can increase the chance of developing cancer. The preservatives (such as nitrite and nitrate) may cause the development of bowel cancer (colon and rectum).

-Avoid exposure to the sun between 10am and 4pm, and always use adequate protection, such as a hat, tent and sunscreen, including on the lips.

If exposure to the sun during the workday is unavoidable, wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants.

-Avoid exposure to carcinogens at work.

Chemical, physical and biological agents or their combinations are well known causes of work-related cancer, and avoiding or decreasing exposure to these agents would be ideal and desirable. 

But for this to occur satisfactorily, the commitment of everyone involved in the various work processes is necessary, with a view to drawing up plans to prevent the workers from becoming ill. 

It is also essential to implement laws that mandate and monitor the replacement of cancer causing agents at work by healthier ones, when this alternative already exists.

 (Reference - https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/pt/booklets, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/cancer-prevention/art-20044816)

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