Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Up to 40% of Cancers are Preventable, Experts Say

Source: Reuters Health (Summary By NIM)

Cancers are caused by a multitude of factors - just as there are many types of cancers, there are many causes, some of which are known and others unknown. Of those for which we know the cause, some simple preventative measures could save millions of lives per year, according to experts.

Cancers that are caused by infections are especially tragic, since they are largely preventable. "If there was an announcement that somebody had discovered a cure for 40 percent of the world's cancers, there would quite justifiably be huge jubilation," said David Hill, President of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), adding "But the fact is that we have, now, the knowledge to prevent 40 percent of cancers. The tragedy is, we're not using it." What is that knowledge? Prevention via immunization and some simple lifestyle changes.

Some examples of cancers caused by infections include cervical and liver cancer, and vaccines to prevent these cancer-causing infections are readily available. According to experts, protecting ourselves with immunizations in combination with employing health-promoting behaviours such as healthy eating, leading active lifestyles and quitting smoking could cut cancer by up to 40%.

Find out more by reading the article "Experts say 40 percent of cancers could be prevented" from Reuters Health (Feb. 2, 2010)