Cancer is a global epidemic that takes millions of lives every year. There are many types of cancers but due to variables like the environment, there are certain ones on the rise. They can be developed through factors such as unhealthy diets, UV radiation, smoking, air pollution, etc. It is formed, in result, of a mutation of cancerous cells. In spite of that, there are ways to prevent the risk of developing one of these cancers. Some of these ways include a change of diet, an increase in physical activity, and quitting harmful habits.
In the article “Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer New Evidence, 2005–2007”, the author discusses specific types of cancers, such as brain, lung, and breast, and how one might be at risk to acquire it. For example, one cause of brain cancer mentioned is cell phones. This is due to the radiofrequency fields that are given off by phones (Clapp, Jacobs, Loechler, 2005-2007). In today’s society many people, especially young adults, carry a mobile device with them at all times. Cell phones are used on a daily basis by many and it one of the primary forms of communication. In the publication of “Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer” it is said that skin cancer is a common type of cancer and it is mainly caused by UV radiation. It can also be caused by tanning beds in a more unnatural setting. Long term exposure to the sun without protection can be dangerous. For example, basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, is found in areas of the skin that are directly exposed to the sun such as the head and neck. Also, Melanoma, which is also a type of skin cancer, causes 75% of skin cancer deaths (Narayanan, Saladi, and Fox, 2010). Alcohol is consumed by millions of people all over the world on a daily basis and if it is consumed in excess amounts it can lead to the development of a cancer potentially in the throat, liver, esophagus and mouth. At about 50 grams a day, the chances of developing a form of cancer triples. Another one of the most controllable yet common forms of cancer is caused by smoking. In total, at least 30 percent of all cancers are induced by smoking. Even if a person does not develop a form of cancer from smoking, their life expectancy is shortened by 13-14 years (Cengage Learning, 2018). Breast cancer is a very common cancer in women more than men, about 40,000 deaths are caused by breast cancer. On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer also represents 15% of all cancer cases in the United States. One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Although breast cancer is much more common in females, males can also develop this cancer. However, the risk is much slimmer and every one in 1,000 men develop it (National breast cancer foundation,2019).
Cancer development is a multi step process which involves genetic mutations that some people can not control. Cancerous cells can develop from normal, fully functioning cells and once the cell stops functioning properly the cancer spreads and begins growing uncontrollably. However, people can be born with a mutation and nothing will come of it. For the cell to become cancerous, it has to have gone through multiple mutations. The mutations take time so for this reason people of older age are more likely to develop a type of cancer (The Dr.Susan Love Foundation, 2019). Some cancers can develop as a result of genetics. In fact, genetics are the primary cause in 5-10 percent of all cancers (Cengage Learning, 2018). If someone in a person’s family had cancer in their lifetime, it is possible for that to be passed down. For example, breast cancer can be genetically passed down in women in some families.
According to the article “Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention— Data from Epidemiologic Studies” written by I-Min Lee, the author states that a way to prevent cancer from occurring or developing includes physical activity. Lee had discussed a study in her writing called the Harvard Alumni Study in which men were followed up for up to 26 years. Men who participated in sports and other physical activities and those who were less active. The study showed that men who were more physically active were less prone to develop colon cancer (Hsieh, Lee, Paffenbarger 1991, as cited in Lee, 2003). The study also took notice of the development of prostate cancer and concluded that men who participated in more extreme exercise were at less risk (Hsieh, Lee, Paffenbarger 1992, as cited in Lee, 2003). In the article “How can we prevent cancer?” by Carlo Croce, the author discusses multiple ways a person can change their lifestyle to be less prone to cancer. It is said that eating fruits and vegetables regularly can be beneficial due to the antioxidants and vitamins that they posses. Avoiding cancer causing factors such as tobacco, covering up at the beach, or using sunscreen is also a way to remove the risk of developing cancer (Croce, 2001). A healthy diet is crucial to cancer prevention. Adopting a predominantly vegetarian diet and eating vegetables will greatly reduce one’s chances of developing a form of cancer. Consuming tea, which has the phytonutrient polyphenol, creates a natural antioxidant that can block the formation of nitrosamines and activates carcinogens. However, the first and most important step in cancer prevention is education. If an individual is not aware of how one can develop cancer, how it can occur, or how to prevent it then they will be at a higher risk of getting cancer (Cengage Learning, 2018).
In conclusion, cancer is a dangerous attack on an individual’s body that causes mutations in genetics and causes tumors to form. There are many different forms of cancer with some being more prevalent than others such as skin cancer or lung cancer. While there is no definite cure for cancer, there are ways a person can prevent the risk of developing it in their lifetime. By taking the first step and becoming educated about what cancer is and learn about healthy life choices, one may decrease their risk of getting it. Some healthier life choices people should incorporate into their daily life are exercise and an appropriate diet. These choices among others, such as quitting life threatening activities like smoking and sunbathing, can prolong an individual’s life and help with cancer prevention.
- Breast Cancer Facts. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts.
- Clapp, R. W., Jacobs, M. M., & Loechler, E. L. (2008). Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer: New Evidence 2005-2007. Reviews on Environmental Health, 23(1), 1–38. doi: 10.1515/reveh.2008.23.1.1
- Croce, C. M. (2001). How can we prevent cancer? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(20), 10986–10988. doi: 10.1073/pnas.221453098
- How Cancer Develops. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://drsusanloveresearch.org/now-that-you-know-about-dna-rna-and-proteins-its-time-to-learn-about-the-cell-cycle/.
- Lee, I.-M. (2003). Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention-Data from Epidemiologic Studies. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35(11), 1823–1827. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000093620.27893.23
- Narayanan, D. L., Saladi, R. N., & Fox, J. L. (2010). Review: Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer. International Journal of Dermatology, 49(9), 978–986. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2010.04474.x