Cancer is a plural word that scares most people about the consequences it can bring to health. But with early detection and monitoring, the risks of developing this disease are minimal. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to know your risk factors.
In this article, we cover everything we should know about cancer, from types of cancer to how to monitor our health and recognize the warning signs. Cancer prevention begins with awareness and knowledge of risk factors and prevention methods. Getting regular checkups and keeping fit can help keep cancer away.
What are tumors and cancer?
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells grow, spread and interfere with the normal functions of the body. This is caused by DNA changes in cells and is called ‘carcinogenesis’. There can be mutations in several genes that can trigger the development of cancer. Cancer is not just one disease, but many different diseases for this reason we often talk about tumors.
Risk factors for the development of cancer
The DNA we inherit from our parents is partly responsible for the risk of developing cancer. If a parent or close family member has been diagnosed with a certain type of cancer, the risk of developing it is higher. For example, women who have inherited a higher risk of breast cancer should consider getting tested at a younger age.
About 80% of all cancers occur in people over the age of 50. This is because the body becomes less efficient at repairing damage and there is a greater risk of undergoing DNA mutations in the tissues. In addition, women have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian cancers. Men also have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
As for skin cancer, excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of developing this type of cancer, especially in people with fair skin. But also excessive weight, an unbalanced diet and obesity can increase the risk of many different types of cancers that can also manifest themselves in a rather virulent way.
Ways to monitor your health and recognize the warning signs
It is important to have annual medical checks and regular blood tests to monitor your health and recognize any abnormalities that could indicate the development of cancer. These checks include mammography for breast cancer, colonoscopy for colon cancer, and PSA test for prostate cancer.
Mole mapping is another important check we can do every 2 years, every year if we have any risk factors. We check the promotions because often during the year there are free checks promoted by our health district. So we can limit our annual medical costs.