Manohar Parrikar had once told a gathering, “People ask me whether I still travel on a scooter. I tell them that I don’t any more. My mind is filled with work-related thoughts and if I ride my scooter while my mind is somewhere else, then I could meet with an accident.” Little did he imagine that he would meet Cancer instead!
What a sad repeat of history that he had lost his wife Medha to cancer back in 2001 when he took over as the of Chief Minister of Goa for the first time. We lost a great leader who personified simplicity and dedication to work. Though advancement in healthcare has made cancer far more treatable than it was in the past, it still continues to be the second killer disease in India next only to cardio vascular diseases.
What causes cancer?
Cancer is caused due to multiple factors, either genetic or lifestyle. While we cannot modify the factors that we are born with it (genetic), we can alter our lifestyle which also plays a significant role.
Here is what you can do to take an active step to reduce your cancer risk
- Avoid tobacco including its smokeless forms. Even second hand smoke increases your risk. WHO estimates that nearly 6 million people die worldwide each year due to tobacco consumption, 10% of which are due to passive smoking.
- WHO has classified Outdoor air pollution as a Carcinogen (cancer causing agent). It is worrying that World’s most polluted cities are in India. If you live / work in an environment with high air pollution make a habit of using a pollution face mask. Choose public transport and other greener methods wherever possible.
- Get vaccines for certain infectious diseases (Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine) – to prevent liver & cervical cancer. Ensure girls / women get vaccinated for HPV to prevent Cervical cancer at the right age.
- Screen regularly for cancer (Mammography, PAP smear, PSA, etc) – For early detection of cervical, breast & prostate cancer
- Limit processed meats – WHO says, eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain cancers
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation – To reduce the risk of stomach & liver cancer
Creating awareness in people is the best way to deal with lifestyle disorders. A simple change makes a big difference, start from today!
Credits: NCBI, India Today, Times Of India, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
We do not aim to diagnose or treat any illness or disease. The information shared here is only for creating awareness in the general population. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website