World Cancer Day—Prevention Is the Key

Cancer accounts for about one in every seven deaths worldwide.

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February 4th each year has been designated as World Cancer Day, a day to help us collect our knowledge and resources in the fight against a group of devastating diseases.

The global cancer burden is growing at an alarming pace. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer accounts for about one in every seven deaths worldwide.1 In 2030, it is expected that about 21.7 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 13 million people in the world will die from cancer.1


A large proportion of cancers are potentially preventable. For example, lung cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States; however, its most important risk factors—namely, tobacco and radon exposures—are largely preventable.

Cancer prevention involves lifestyle changes and screening to detect disease early, when treatment is easier and could potentially stop cancer from developing and progressing into a lethal disease.

Different methods of cancer prevention include:

Quitting smoking. In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths and accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths.2 Quitting smoking would help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer to that of nonsmokers over time.3 It is never too late to quit. On the contrary, quitting—even for longtime heavy smokers—can help prevent many diseases or improve the general health.

Making lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle, eating healthy food, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising can help prevent cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly a third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical activity, including being overweight or obese.4

These risk factors are modifiable. Many options for a healthy diet are both tasty and inexpensive. Exercise can be done in groups for motivation or individually at personal leisure.5, 6, 7 


Many other lifestyle risk factors, such as sun exposure or excess alcohol use, can be modified to reduce the individual’s risk of cancer.

Reducing stress. Some studies linked stress with higher incidence of cancer.8 Although life and work can be extremely stressful sometimes, there are measures that can help reduce stress—for example, talking to a friend, listening to your favorite song, or reading can help. Counseling services can help you deal with stressful life events.

Cancer screening. Following preventative measures won’t nullify cancer risk, but screening for early disease can detect lesions before they become cancer or at a very early stage that is much easier to treat with better survival. Most health insurance companies are covering the expenses of screening.

A final thought. Cancer is one of the major killers nowadays. However, we do have the opportunity to stop it, reduce its impact, and detect it early on. We can fight cancer and many other diseases simply by following a healthier lifestyle.


  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014.
  3. American Cancer Society. Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time.
  4. American Cancer Society. ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.
  5. IQ Solutions. Choose to Eat Healthier at IQ Solutions.
  6. IQ Solutions. Hop on the Treadmill Desks to Improve Your Overall Health.
  7. IQ Solutions. Get Moving for 2 Minutes an Hour to Reduce Cancer and Mortality.
  8. National Cancer Institute. Psychological Stress and Cancer.

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