March20, 2023

Abstract Volume: 1 Issue: Cancer Awareness ISSN:

Prevent Cancer: Is It Possible?

Dr. Shaunak Valame*

*Corresponding Author: Dr. Shaunak Valame, Consultant Medical Oncologist, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, India.

Received Date:  February 16, 2021

Publication Date: March 01, 2021

Prevent Cancer: Is It Possible?

“Prevention is BETTER than cure”, the adage goes. However, as we move into an era of non-communicable diseases, this adage must be modified to – “Prevention is the BEST cure”. GLOBOCAN (1) estimates that in 2040, 28.4 million new cases will be detected, corresponding to a rise of 47% from 2020.

Tobacco use is widely described as the largest preventable cause of cancer (2). Treatment strategies for tobacco cessation are now widely available. These are Nicotine patches, sprays, and gums, which help reduce the craving for tobacco. Pharmacologic therapies are also gaining approvals for the treatment of Nicotine dependence. Adoption of such practices will help reduce your risk of developing cancer.

Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has proven effective in the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal, oropharyngeal and other head and neck cancers. Males and females aged 9 – 45 years are recommended to undergo HPV vaccination (3).

The trick to conquering cancer is “Early Diagnosis and Early Treatment”. Screening measures are in place for early detection of Breast, Colorectal, Prostate, Cervical, and Lung cancer. Mammography screening has been shown to lower breast cancer mortality by 25% (4). The US Preventive Task Force also recommends Colorectal cancer screening (5). Lung cancer screening by using low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) scans has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality by 20% (6). Thus, effective screening programs such as these will help in early diagnosis which in turn, translates into better outcomes.            

The early signs of cancer can be easily kept in mind by the mnemonic “CAUTION” (7). Change in mole/skin lesion, Abnormal discharge from the orifice, Unilateral joint pain/swelling, Tumour/lump anywhere, increasing lymph glands, Obstinate fatigue/fever, and Neurologic deficit can indicate whether a person needs to seek a medical opinion. Public education regarding these signs can help in early diagnosis and initiation of treatment.

Thus, in our “Fight Against Cancer”, prevention is the most powerful weapon in our armamentarium and we have the means to beat cancer!


1.Sung, H, Ferlay, J, Siegel, RL, Laversanne, M, Soerjomataram, I, Jemal, A, Bray, F. “Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries”. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020. CA Cancer J Clin 2021;0:1-41.

2.Warren G, Simmons V. “Tobacco Use and the Cancer Patient”. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 11th Ed. DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, 2018. Pp 388-401.

3.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Human papillomavirus”. In: Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe C, eds. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Washington DC: Public Health Foundation; 2015:175-186.

4.Shapiro S. “Periodic screening for breast cancer: the HIP Randomized Controlled Trial”. Health Insurance Plan. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 1997;(22):27–30.

5.Bibbins-Domingo K, Grossman DC, Curry SJ, et al. “Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement”. JAMA 2016;315(23):2564–2575.

6.Aberle DR, Adams AM, Berg CD, et al.; for National Lung Screening Trial Research Team. “Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomographic screening”. N Engl J Med 2011;365(5):395–409.

7.Bleyer A. “CAUTION! Consider cancer: common symptoms and signs for early detection of cancer in young adults”. Semin Oncol 2009;36[3]:207–212

Volume 1 Issue 2 March 2021

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