Over the past few decades, there have been significant advancements in diagnosing cancer; and treatment outcomes have also considerably improved. Some would argue that we also have better survival rates than 40 years ago – primarily because of strategies for early detection through national screening programs.
However, despite these advancements, the 5-year survival rate for people who have cancer remains low. That means that although cancers are being diagnosed on time and treated in the best possible manner, people continue to die. And even if doctors detect cancer at an early stage and remove the tumour by surgery, the patients remain at significant risk of developing cancer again.
Taking preventive action is the best step forward after understanding the risk factors associated with cancers or a specific type of cancer. Some risks are predetermined and can’t be changed, such as the individual’s genetics and ethnicity, but other factors can be influenced.
A person’s lifestyle can also become a significant contributory factor to his risk of developing cancer. For instance, obesity increases the risk of cancer. Avoiding smoking, eating fruits and vegetables, participating in regular exercise programs, and zero consumption of alcohol can significantly decrease the risk of an individual getting cancer.
Educating and creating awareness amongst people is an essential aspect of successful cancer prevention, as are technological breakthroughs or evidence gathered from research.
Prevention is always better than cure, and hence it is of great importance to change what is possible and maximize our odds of remaining cancer-free.