Talking about cancer can be difficult for some, however, the good news is that knowing about it allows you to build a healthy lifestyle to prevent and cope with it when you or a family member is diagnosed.
To raise awareness of the impact of this disease, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has established February 4 as World Cancer Day, with the slogan I am and I will. According to the entity, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas, and in 2020, an estimated 4 million people were diagnosed. 57% of new cases and 47% of deaths occur in people 69 years of age or younger, who still have many years to live.
Prevention is possible
Within everyone’s reach are risk factors that can be modified, and the best thing is that they also contribute to avoiding other non-communicable diseases. These are:
- Tobacco use.
- Consuming few vegetables. Low intake of fruit and vegetables and high consumption of processed foods, sugars, and sodium.
- Harmful use of alcohol.
- Lack of physical activity.
Remember: Include a preventative medical check-up in your annual activities.
If you have received a diagnosis or are a patient
Seek information from reliable sources. Get the help you need to understand your clinical test results, as recommended by the American Cancer Society on its website, in the frequently asked questions section and resources. Here are some additional recommendations:
- Learn about your disease, be constantly updated on its evolution and treatment to follow by specialists and health professionals.
- Keep your body and mind in balance, think positive, and seek professional help in case you feel frustration or symptoms of depression.
- Attend scheduled check-ups and treatments, remember that together we can win the battle.
- Know the signs and symptoms specific to your diagnosis so you can be alert and take care of your wellbeing.