Cancer Prevention: Steps to Reduce Your Risk

by Dr. Rohit Kumar C

Cancer Prevention: Essential Strategies Revealed 

At a generic level, refers to any one of a large number of diseases involving a malignant growth or tumour caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division which may steadily spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream. Globally, cancer ranks as the second most cause of death. For every 100,000 people, 403 new cancer cases were reported and 144 people died of cancer. 


Cancer is primarily caused by mutations in the DNA within cells. The individual genes constituting a DNA are coded with a set of signals directing the cell as to how to grow and divide. Errors in signalling can render a cell cancerous. 

Preventive measures:

While cancer may develop in people who do not have any known risk factors, one can always reduce the chances of getting the disease by undertaking certain preventive measures such as:

Abstaining from tobacco use: Smoking is detrimental to health and can be a cause of lung cancer, tracheal cancer, and pancreatic cancer to name a few. Consumption of tobacco in form, whether through inhalation or chewing can be avoided to reduce the risk of cancer.

Significance of a healthy diet: Following a balanced diet can alleviate the chances of getting cancer by strengthening the immune system of the body. .

Doing physical activities such as aerobics, free hand exercises, stretches, swimming, cycling and jogging can not only control body weight but can also reduce the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. 

  • Fruit and vegetables-based diet consisting of whole grains, beans, legumes and nuts facilitates easy digestion, boosts immunity, strengthens bones and muscles, and lowers the risk of cell malfunctioning.  
  • The cancer research agency at the World Health Organisation stresses on the benefits of cutting down the consumption of red meat and processed meats as a preventive measure against cancer.
  • Alcohol intake beyond moderate levels may increase the risk of cancer in liver, colon, kidney and breasts and lungs. It is advisable to avoid if possible or at least limit the extent of alcohol consumption to minimise cancer risks.   
  • Maintain a healthy body weight and aim for physical activities: Cancer of the prostate,colon, kidney, Uterus , ovry & breasts are in some cases associated with body mass and can be resisted by preventing the accumulation of unwanted fat
  • Targeting at least 150 minutes of light to moderate aerobic activities per week or hard aerobic activities for 75 minutes a week can serve as preventive measures against cancer. 

Get Vaccinated: Prevention of viral infections can reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. One can always talk with his or her health care provider to ensure getting vaccinated against:

  • Hepatitis B: Certain lifestyle practices such as having sex with multiple partners; or injecting drugs into the body or professions that require someone to come into contact with blood and body fluids increase risks of getting infected with Hepatitis B. This virus is known to aggravate the cause of liver cancer.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): This is a sexually transmitted virus that can increase the risk of cervical cancer, genital cancer and squamous cell carcinoma. Generally recommended for boys and girls of age 11 to 14Yrs, the HPV vaccine ensures protection against 

Risky behaviours can be avoided :

Practicing safe sex is beneficial for both physical and mental wellness. Limiting the number of sexual partners and using condoms reduces the risk of getting infected by sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and HPV. 

  • HIV or AIDS increases the risk of cancer in the anus, liver and lungs while HPV is primarily associated with cervical cancer.
  • Sharing needles for injecting drugs can lead to the transmission of viruses like HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C which in turn increases the risk of liver cancer. To deal with drug abuse and addiction is advised to contact professional help.

Regular health check-up is mandatory:

One of the best ways to beat cancer is to detect it early and this is possible only if one undergoes medical care at regular intervals. Keeping an eye open for general and frequent screenings raise the chances of early detection. 

The Aster Hospitals and healthcare facility has some of the best surgical oncologists in Bangalore with whom you can schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns regarding cancer. One must remember that detected early and with proper medical attention, cancer is completely curable.