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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Can Cancer be prevented?

Can cancer be prevented?

Most clinicians and researchers are convinced that many cancers can either be prevented or the risk of developing cancers can be markedly reduced. Some of the methods are simple; others are relatively extreme, depending on an individual's view.

Prevention of cancer, by avoiding its potential causes, is the simplest method.

1. First on most clinicians and researchers list is to stop (or better, never start) smoking tobacco.
E.g. Pancreatic Cancer.... Smoking is the main risk factor for pancreatic cancer; a smoker is three to four times more likely than a nonsmoker to acquire the disease. People frequently exposed to certain petroleum products may also be at increased risk. Excessive alcohol, dietary fat, and protein, as well as low fiber intake, may also promote the disease. Diabetes is also linked to pancreatic cancer, with 10% to 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer also having diabetes. There are several possible treatent options. Apart from radiation and chemotherapy, a Biological therapy seems to be interesting and may be used to treat pancreatic cancer.

Biological therapy is treatment designed to stimulate or restore the ability of the body's immune system (natural internal defense) to fight infection and disease. Biological therapy is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy. This form of treatment uses portions of the body's natural immune system to treat a disease. Biological therapy is also used to protect the body from some of the side effects of certain treatments.
Biological therapy often involves the use of substances called biological response modifiers (BRMs). The body normally produces these substances in small amounts in response to infection and disease. Using modern laboratory techniques, scientists can produce BRMs in large amounts for use in the treatment of the cancer.
The side effects of pancreatic cancer biological therapy include: flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, muscle aches, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some patients develop a rash, and some bleed or bruise easily. Side effects are usually short-term and gradually subside after treatment ends.

2. Avoiding excess sunlight (by decreasing exposure or applying sunscreen).
3. Avoiding many of the chemicals and toxins is an excellent way to avoid cancers.
4. Avoiding contact with certain viruses and other pathogens also is likely to prevent some cancers.
5. People who have to work close to cancer-causing agents (chemical workers, X-ray technicians, ionizing radiation researchers) should follow all safety precautions and minimize any exposure to such compounds.

In case of people with Genetic predisposition:

People with a genetic predisposition to develop certain cancers and others with a history of cancers in their genetically linked relatives currently cannot change their genetic makeup. However, some individuals who have a high possibility of developing genetically linked cancer have taken actions to prevent cancer development. For example, some young women who have had many family members develop breast cancer have elected to have their breast tissue removed even if they have no symptoms or signs of cancer development to reduce or eliminate the possibility they will develop breast cancer. Some doctors consider this as an extreme measure to prevent cancer while others do not. more