Prevention measures for the most common types of cancer

They may be “seemingly simple”, but they are “inevitable” for cancer prevention. There are ten measures to reduce the risk of developing the most common tumors in Spain, which were shared by experts from the Digitization and Management of Personalized Cancer Medicine (DIPCAN) project.

Principal Investigator of the DIPCAN Study and Head of Clinical Research at the Cancer Center Foundation M.D. Anderson in Spain., big henryhighlights the importance of these measures to inform the public about the importance of cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles.

And the fact is that following these tips can, according to Grande, “significantly reduce the risk of developing tumors,” and they are “the basis for protecting our health.”

In Spain, according to the National Statistical Institute (INE) and the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), cancer is the second leading cause of death. And the most common tumors are tumors of the prostate, breast, lung and bladder.

Cancer Prevention Measures
Infographic taken from SEOM’s “Cancer Figures 2023” report.

Preventive measures shared by DIPKAN experts

There are ten measures that include, but are not limited to, maintaining a healthy diet, weight control, regular physical activity, and avoiding tobacco use:

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat may help reduce the risk of various types of tumors such as colon and breast tumors.
  • Control your weight: Being overweight and obese is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, and pancreatic cancer. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is “essential.”
  • Physical activity: Regular exercise helps maintain an adequate weight, as well as reduce the likelihood of developing colon, breast, and endometrial cancer. Tip – moderate activity for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week.
  • No tobacco: Smoking is an important risk factor for several types of tumors: lung, mouth, esophagus and bladder. In addition, tobacco smoke contains toxic and carcinogenic substances that can damage the DNA of cells, increasing the likelihood of developing cancer cells.
Cancer Prevention Measures
Miguel Angel Clement. EFE/ Biel Alinho
  • Limit your alcohol intake: Excessive consumption has been linked to cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, liver, breast, and colon. For this reason, another cancer prevention measure indicated by DIPCAN experts is moderate alcohol consumption, and in the case of women, no more than one drink per day.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: Overexposure without protection can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. In addition to using sunscreen, you should avoid direct sun exposure during peak hours and wear protective clothing, hats or caps.
  • Periodic medical examinations: Experts on this issue are also categorical. It is a “must” to attend regular health checks and take the recommended early detection tests for your age and gender.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: This is an “important” preventative measure as this virus has been linked to cancers such as cervical cancer and other tumors.
    The vaccine can prevent certain HPV strains that cause most HPV-related cancers.
HPV cancer vaccine
EFE/Lavandeira Jr.
  • Avoid exposure to carcinogens: Take precautions both at work and at home to avoid exposure to carcinogens.
    Reducing exposure to elements such as asbestos, harsh cleaning chemicals, and pesticides is another cancer prevention measure.
  • Leading a “generally” healthy lifestyle: All of the above measures can help reduce the risk of developing tumors.

The importance of mindfulness and from an early age

“Remember that small changes can make a difference,” says Grande, emphasizing that these preventive measures may seem “seemingly simple, but they are inevitable in the fight against cancer.”

In this sense, also a medical oncologist at the M.D. Anderson Foundation of Spain., Fabio Franco, point to EFEsalud that public awareness of prevention “is fundamental” to reducing the incidence of cancer.

To do this, Franco considers it necessary to disseminate medical information in an accessible form and use mechanisms that reach the general population. Also conduct information campaigns among risk groups and work on this from an early age to promote a healthy lifestyle.

DIPKAN project

Regarding the DIPCAN project, of which Franco is also a part, he explains the aims of EFEsalud. It is about developing personalized medicine by integrating clinical, genomic data and radiological imaging to gain multidimensional knowledge about cancer in the Spanish population.

oncologist of DIPKAN project
Oncologist Fabio Franco. Kind photo.

In particular, it is about clinical research initiative “which aims to integrate various aspects of the oncological diagnostic process to gain greater knowledge of the disease and thus personalize treatment on an individual basis.”

Similarly, the study “seeks to understand the clinical and molecular characteristics of different types of solid tumors in the population.”

To do this, the expert explains, clinical, radiological, pathological anatomical and molecular data are integrated using artificial intelligence systems to develop optimized diagnostic algorithms for each type of tumor.

“While it is true that it would be interesting to have all of this information for patients with localized disease as well, the study is primarily aimed at patients with metastatic solid tumors, as this population has higher requirements for medical information for treatment selection and oncological management approaches. ‘, says Franco.

The DIPCAN project brings together seven organizations that specialize in different areas of expertise.

Funded by European funds, it hopes to reach 2,000 patients.

According to the expert, medical professionals can refer patients to the DIPCAN project from both public and private medical institutions.

“The reason for this is that the project is funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU, which makes it possible to offer the necessary assistance and tests to patients free of charge, regardless of the type of medical services they receive,” he adds.

The only thing that patients have to do to participate in the study is to register on the website, either for personal reasons – wanting to get more information about their disease – or on the recommendation of their doctor – whoever I am. interested in more detailed knowledge of the tumor.

And the goal is to reach 2,000 patients by 2024. To date, “about 400 patients have been treated,” the oncologist says.

This means that these nearly 400 patients have already been evaluated in consultations and research is ongoing or the results are in.

The expert believes that in order to reach 2,000 patients, “it is imperative that we continue to highlight this project in order to offer more patients with metastases the opportunity to better understand their disease.”

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