Everyone has actions they can take to help lower their risk of getting cancer. Although though not all malignancies may be prevented, removing some risk factors from your lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing cancer. You can learn about a couple of cancers common among men and women that can be avoided in this post, as well as what you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
We must remember that no cancer can be completely avoided or eradicated because it is not a virus or bacteria. Nevertheless, between 30% and 50% of all cancer cases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, are preventable (WHO, 2022). According to a 2015 study by Cancer Research UK, 38% of cancer incidences in the UK can be avoided.
Additionally, you can further reduce your risk of acquiring some cancers by managing your food, amount of physical activity, smoking, and drinking habits well. According to the WHO, Cancer Research UK, and other scientific studies, including Seitz & Becker, 2007, Sasco et al., 2004, and Wolin et al., 2010, the following are the primary risk factors for cancer:
- Nicotine use
- Ultraviolet rays
- Risks in the workplace
- Air quality (pollution)
That being said, cervical cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are still posing huge concerns for doctors.
Cervical cancer is curable if discovered early through standard screening. Just 17% of women with late-stage cervical cancer survive five years or longer in the US, compared to approximately 92% of women with early-stage cervical cancer. In the UK, the statistics are even more positive, with Cancer Research UK finding that in 2015 99.8% of cervical cancer cases can be prevented.
No cancer is 100% preventable, as we already indicated, but your risk can be decreased if you frequently undergo health exams and modify some aspects of your lifestyle.
According to projections from the American Cancer Society, 13,960 women will receive a cervical cancer diagnosis in the US in 2023, and 4,310 will pass away as a result (Cancer.org, 2023).
Early detection of this cancer through Pap testing is possible, making treatment simpler. Moreover, screening for HPV has been authorised as an additional cervical cancer screening test. It can be used either independently or in conjunction with a Pap test.
A study was published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, exploring data on cervical cancer submitted to the United States Cancer Statistics programme between 2001 and 2018 as well as results of a national survey on Pap testing and HPV vaccination. The statistics were thoroughly examined by researchers and it was found that around 30,000 women were given the diagnosis of late-stage cervical cancer during this time period, which has progressed to the body’s belly and other organs (Francoeur et. al., 2022).
Most groups in the US have seen a decline in the incidence of early-stage cervical cancer in recent years. However, over the past 18 years, cases of advanced cervical cancer have not decreased in any US racial, ethnic, or age group (Siegel, et. al., 2023). During the study period, there was a 1.3% yearly increase in new diagnoses of advanced illness.
In the US and the UK, respectively, 52,300 and 170,000 new instances of prostate cancer are identified each year, making it the most frequent cancer in men. In their lifetime, 1 in 8 men may develop prostate cancer, and regrettably, the illness claims the lives of one man every hour.
Thankfully, 78% of patients with this cancer survive for 10 years or more (Cancer Research UK, 2022), but in recent decades the survival rate has increased because to PSA testing. This underlines the significance of early detection because, similar to all malignancies, the earlier it is discovered, the more favourable the prognosis and treatment options.
Some symptoms of prostate cancer can be:
- Blood in your urine
- A burning sensation when you are urinating
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urges to urinate at night
- A loss of bladder control
- Erectile dysfunction
- Discomfort in your pelvic area
You may not always encounter every prostate cancer symptom mentioned because symptoms vary from patient to patient. Moreover, prostate cancer symptoms are frequently mild or non-existent in the early stages of the disease. Early detection is crucial because of this. Yet, we frequently wait until we start to exhibit symptoms before visiting our doctor, by which time the cancer has already begun to spread. Like all cancers, it has the potential to spread to other tissues and organs if it is not treated in a timely manner.
What can you do to reduce risk of cancer?
As previously stated, it is advisable to discuss any worries you may have with your doctor, who will be able to guide you through a health examination. You can also think about getting a private health evaluation, like one from Echelon Health.
If you have pressing concerns, a family history of cancer, or simply want peace of mind that your health is at its best, both methods are good possibilities.
The chance of acquiring cancer can be decreased by a variety of lifestyle changes and additional preventive actions.
- Start regular screenings from age 40
- Understand your family history
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight
- Stay active
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
- Get an HPV vaccine
- Get a pap/smear test
- Reduce the number of sexual partners
- Use condoms
- Wear appropriate PPE at work to prevent work with substances such as arsenic, asbestos, radon, and radiation
- Take birth control pills
Early cancer detection with Echelon Health
Echelon Health is aware of the significance of adopting healthy lifestyle choices. But you need have a solid awareness of how your health is right now in order to know what changes you need to make.
In order to do this, Echelon Health offers a variety of thorough assessment packages that focus on particular areas of concern, such as our Core Cancer package, which examines the most prevalent malignancies. Maybe our Platinum Assessment is the one for you if a full-body evaluation is more appealing to you.
All the scans and tests and what they detect, are listed here. Echelon Health is able to identify up to 92% and 95% of preventable causes of death in men and women, respectively, by combining the greatest imaging technology with our CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans with years of experience among our medical professionals.
|Medical Questionnaire & Pre-Assessment||Every Client completes a detailed Medical Questionnaire that ensures a full medical history is taken. This is reviewed by one of our doctors who may need to speak with you to establish more detailed information relating to your health and risk factors. It allows us to have a full image of your health and establish the best course of action to look at your health.|
|Blood Tests||Our blood tests check over 40 parameters to look at various cancer markers, hormone levels, cholesterol, vitamins and more to determine if any imbalances could indicate a certain illness or disease.|
|ECG||An Electrocardiogram (or ECG) is an important test that records the rhythm, rate, and electrical activity of your heart. It is completely painless and takes only a few minutes but helps find any irregularities that could indicate a heart issue.|
|CT Aorta||Our heart scan examines the beginning of the aorta for any evidence of dilation which could be the early signs of an aneurysm|
|CT Heart||CT Heart Scan (Calcium Score) examines your overall heart arteries for any calcium deposition – ‘furring up,’ which could be the earliest sign of atheromatous disease.|
|CT Coronary Angiogram||This determines the exact location and severity of any atheroma – the ‘furring up’ of the blood vessels. The CTCA is unique in its ability to visualise so-called ‘soft’ plaque which is the most vulnerable to rupturing and causing a heart attack).|
|CT Chest||With this scan, we are looking for evidence of tiny nodules which could be the early signs of lung cancer. We can detect cancers as small as 1-2mm.|
|CT Pelvis||Here, we are looking for any signs of abnormalities or tumours in your kidneys, bladder and lymph glands and reproductive organs.|
|CT Abdomen||Here, we are looking for any signs of abnormalities or tumours in your liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands and more.|
|CT Virtual Colonoscopy||This scan is looking for colonic polyps and early indications of cancer.|
|CT Bone Density||A CT Bone Density scan is an extremely accurate method of measuring the density of your bones and diagnosing osteoporosis and the risk of bone fracture in your hips and spine in the future.|
|EOS CT Upright Skeleton||This ultra-low-dose 3D CT scan of the entire skeleton in the standing position enables us to determine whether you have any postural issues or predisposition to spinal disc problems and lower back pain.|
|MRI Brain||This detailed scan of your brain looks for any indications of tumours or significant abnormalities, including of the sinuses and inner ears.|
|MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram||This scan looks directly at the arteries in your brain to assess whether there has been any narrowing or malformations of them. Any indication of these issues would indicate an increased risk of stroke or a brain haemorrhage.|
|MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram||This determines whether there is any narrowing of the neck arteries that supply blood to the brain.|
|MRI Prostate (Men)||This, combined with the PSA blood test, is the most accurate means of screening for prostate cancer.|
|Ultrasound Thyroid||An ultrasound of the thyroid is looking for evidence of nodules or tumours.|
|Ultrasound Testes/ Ovaries||This scan is designed to look for any evidence of testicular/ovarian tumours or cysts that could indicate cancer risk.|
|Digital Mammogram (Women)||A digital mammogram is the most accurate means of visualising breast lumps or early signs of cancer.|
|Full Body Mole Screen||Skin cancer screening looks at moles that could be atypical which may be an indication of skin cancer. Single moles which may be of concern may be checked and recommended for removal. Skin cancer can be one of the most aggressive cancers if left undetected.|
|Final Consultation||Your scans/assessments are reported on by some of the leading specialist radiologists in their respective fields and then reviewed with you by a senior Echelon Health Doctor who will explain your results to you, and if needed provide a referral for treatment should anything untoward be found.|
If you have any further questions about early detection or how Echelon Health can help you with your health concerns please do not hesitate to contact us – our team are always delighted to hear from you!
WHO (2022). Preventing cancer. Available at: https://www.who.int/activities/preventing-cancer?fbclid=IwAR0mjKmD3vWixkVgnW-6H8VnV0eIJRMS8OmFl4svG2PZApIkWzzMtoro9Mc Accessed 24/05/2022
Cancer Research UK (2022). Statistics on preventable cancers. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/risk/preventable-cancers?fbclid=IwAR0fRv_rqCyT8Xf9_Bkrwmu9B8m84QBWHzjfp5MH157qF9r_5ELm9NmD3l4#heading-Two Accessed 24/05/2022
Seitz, H. K., & Becker, P. (2007). Alcohol metabolism and cancer risk. Alcohol Research & Health, 30(1), 38.
Sasco, A. J., Secretan, M. B., & Straif, K. (2004). Tobacco smoking and cancer: a brief review of recent epidemiological evidence. Lung cancer, 45, S3-S9.
Wolin, K. Y., Carson, K., & Colditz, G. A. (2010). Obesity and cancer
Cancer.org (2023). Key Statistics for Cervical Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/about/key-statistics.html#:~:text=How%20common%20is%20cervical%20cancer,will%20die%20from%20cervical%20cancer. (accessed 29/03/2023).
Francoeur, A.A., Liao, C.I., Casear, M.A., Chan, A., Kapp, D.S., Cohen, J.G., Salani, R. and Chan, J.K., (2022). The increasing incidence of stage IV cervical cancer in the USA: what factors are related?. International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, 32(9).
Siegel, R.L., Miller, K.D., Wagle, N.S. and Jemal, A., (2023). Cancer statistics, 2023. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 73(1), pp.17-48.