Prevention is the key to eliminate cancer. Cancer risk of the population can be reduced by 40-50% by adopting healthy life styles and vaccinations against specific cancers. Cancer Incidence has doubled in the last decade. As per ICMR, 10 lakhs new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year and about 7 lakh cancer cases die per Annum. By 2020, the incidence will increase to 17.3 lakhs new cases and 8.8 lakhs deaths per annum.
How Can We Prevent Cancer
Cancer can be prevented by Primary and Secondary prevention.
How to Achieve Primary Prevention
Primary prevention reduces the likelihood that a disease or disorder will develop. The aim of primary prevention is to limit the incidence of disease by controlling specific causes and risk factors. In India 40-50% of cancers are caused by use of tobacco and tobacco products, alcohol, environment pollution, junk food, obesity, Hepatitis, HIV, Human Papilloma Virus, Hylobacter Pylori etc. Having one or more risk factors does not mean a person will develop cancer. Many people have at least one cancer risk factor but will never get cancer, while others with cancer may have had no known risk factors.
Primary Prevention can reduce incidence of cancer by 40-50% by adopting following healthy life styles:
- Avoid active and passive smoking (Cigarette, Beeri, Cigar, Churat , Pan Masala, Gutka, Kheni e.tc)
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Have a healthy diet i.e. eat whole grains, fresh fruits, pulses, nuts and fresh vegetables.
- Avoid red meats, smoked or cured foods, hot food / drinks in plastic containers.
- Limit high calorie foods with high content of sugar and fat.
- Exercise regularly and actively
- Prevent environment pollution
- Use adequate personal protection devices like gloves, masks while working in industries involved in chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, thinners, cleansing fluids and asbestos
- Practice sun safety and recognize when skin changes occur.
- Avoid multiple sex partners.
- Know your personal and family history of cancer.
- Complete treatment of HIV and Hylobacter Pylori
- Get Immunized against
- Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine schedule-
Women who have received the HPV vaccine still need regular cervical screening because 30% of cervical cancers are caused by other HPV types
How to Achieve Secondary Prevention
Secondary prevention means detecting cancer at an early stage (Pre cancerous, Stage-I and Stage- II) and treating it promptly, so that we do not suffer, do not spend too much money and do not loose our lives. Secondary Prevention is achievable by:-
Monthly Self Examination
Monthly Self Examination procedure is very simple and easy. One can do it her/himself. Fix any date in the month for your monthly self examination. Premenopausal women should choose a date 6-8 days after their menstrual period. Stand topless in front of full size mirror and carry out the examination of below mentioned parts of body.
Face, Head and Neck
- See the uniformity of the face in a mirror, and check for any deformity and new disparity between the two sides.
- Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
- Any patches inside your mouth, lips that are white, a mixture of red and white or red in the mouth.
- Bleeding in the mouth.
- A sore on your lip or in your mouth.
- Change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together.
- Draw back the side of the mouth to check inside the cheeks.
- Move the tongue, check as far back as can be seen in the mirror, and feel the area.
- Examine the upper palate as far back as you can see.
- Feel for anything unusual on the sides of the neck specially any lymph nodes.
- Hold the thyroid cartilage (the Adam's apple). It should go up and down when you swallow.
If you should discover any unusual lumps, bumps, spots or color changes, a sore which has not healed for more than two weeks.
- The best time to do a breast self-exam is a 7 to 10 days after your monthly menstrual cycle ends. Hormonal changes may affect the size and feel of your breasts, so it is best to perform the exam when your breasts are in their normal state.
- If you are pregnant, no longer have periods or your period is irregular, choose a specific day each month.
- You should also keep a record of your self-exams. This will help you track and record any changes you may have noticed in your breasts.
- Stand topless in front of a full size mirror with your hands at your sides. Visually inspect your breasts for changes in size, shape or symmetry, dimpling, inverted nipples, puckering and asymmetrical ridges at the bottom.
- Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
- Look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
- With fingertips close together, gently probe each breast in one of three patterns as depicted below.
Gently squeeze each nipple and look for a discharge.
Examine your armpits for any glands, lumps etc.
With fingertips close together, gently probe each breast in one of these patterns.
See for any protrusion, feel the abdomen for any lump, mass etc.
Feel - penis and Testicals.
If you require additional assistance you can take help for demonstration from your family physician or dentist for the first time to ensure you are doing it properly.
Our Services for Cancer Prevention
- Public Awareness lectures.
- Counselling of patient’s attendants in Primary and Secondary Prevention.
- Immunization against Human Papilloma Virus and Hepatitis B
- De - addiction clinic for Tobacco and alcohol
- Cancer screening and follow up clinics for common cancers.
- Manpower Training and development in Preventive Oncology
- Publishing of Scientific papers
- Volunteer Training Programme
Educational Material Prepared by the Department of Preventive Oncology
- Breast Self-Examination
- How to prevent Cancer
- Oral Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Breast Cancer
Cancer Information Books
- Oral Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
Publishing Research Papers