Signs and Risk Factors for All Cancers
- Exercise! Get plenty of physical activity.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% lean proteins, and 25% whole grains.
- Avoid the midday sun.
- Protect your skin with a hat, shirt and sunscreen.
- Get regular cancer screening tests.
- Keep your health records up to date.
- Check your home for potential cancer-causing agents such as radon, benzene and some herbicides and pesticides.
- Avoid infections that contribute to cancer, including hepatitis viruses, HIV, and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Get vaccinated against HPV and HBV (the hepatitis B virus).
Watch what you eat and drink
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
- Choose foods from plant sources such as whole grain cereals, breads, rice, pasta and beans.
- Avoid processed, salt-cured, salt-pickled and smoked foods.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco in any form.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so moderately
Be Physically Active
- Be moderately active for a half-hour daily.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Protect your skin when outside and avoid too much sunlight
- Wear protective clothing, hats, and use effective sunscreens
See Your Doctor
- Visit your doctor for appropriate cancer-screening tests for breast, cervical, colon and prostate cancers.
- When cancer is detected early, treatment is most successful.
- Avoid unnecessary x-rays.
- There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected.
- In 2008, 7.6 million people died of cancer – 13% of all deaths worldwide.
- About 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill men are (in order of frequency): lung, stomach, liver, colorectal and oesophagus.
- Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill women are (in order of frequency): breast, lung, stomach, colorectal and cervical.
In many developing countries cervical cancer is the most common cancer.
- Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world causing 22% of cancer deaths.
- One fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection, for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and
hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer.
- Cancers of major public health relevance such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated adequately.
- All patients in need of pain relief could be helped if current knowledge about pain control and palliative care were applied.
- More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and moderating the
use of alcohol. In developing countries up to 20% of cancer deaths could be prevented by immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.
With over 10,000 deaths annually, cancer is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. Even when children are old enough to communicate, paying close attention to any signs or symptoms they may mention can allow you to identify early signs of cancer. Call your doctor if you see any of these signs or symptoms in children:
- Shows signs of infection
- Has trouble eating
- Has digestive tract problems
- Shows changes in mobility or mood
- Has such symptoms as bleeding, severe and continuing headaches, pain anywhere in the body, red or swollen areas.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and is the most common type of cancer found in children. Call your doctor if you see any of these signs or symptoms:
- Pain in bones or joints
- A noticeable limp
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or elsewhere
- Abnormal tiredness
- Consistent poor appetite
- Risk factors for ALL include: a sibling with leukemia, being Caucasian or Hispanic, living in the U.S., exposure to x-ray before birth, exposure to radiation, past treatment with chemotherapy or other drugs that weaken the immune system, certain changes in genes or genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome.
Reduce Cancer Risk:
Signs of childhood cancer:
Signs childhood leukemia: