Screening, Prevention & Treatment

Tests & Screening

The earlier cancer is detected, the more effective treatment will be. There are various ways to self-check your own body for symptoms. For example, women are encouraged to check regularly for symptoms of breast cancer.

There are also various medical tests and scans that can be done. Those who are at high risk for lung cancer are also recommended to undergo screening.

See the following links for detailed looks into the different types of medical tests available for detecting cancer:

 

Cancer Prevention

As several cancers are caused by poor lifestyle choices, the most effective prevention is adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

  • Cutting out tobacco – “Tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide, causing an estimated 22% of cancer deaths per year.” (WHO)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Minimizing consumption of alcohol
  • Strengthening the immune system and avoiding illness

It is also advisable to minimize exposure to environmental causes, such as:

  • using masks or avoiding places with polluted air
  • avoiding contact with or consumption of polluted water
  • practicing safety precautions in hazardous workplaces

Reference: WHO.int

Mayoclinic.org: Seven Tips to Reduce Your Risk

 

Treatment

There are a variety of treatments available for cancer, and the type use widely depends on the cancer you have. The more common types are:

  • surgery – involves cutting out the tumors and abnormal cells. This works best for solid cancers contained in one area.
  • Radiation therapy or radiotherapy – this treatment uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This usually takes several treatments.
  • Chemotherapy – this treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The medicine that destroys cancer cells also often attacks healthy cells too, and chemotherapy has dramatic side effects such as weakness and hair loss.

For more about the various types of cancer treatment, read here: Cancer.gov