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Feature: Healthy lifestyle best way to avoid cancer

Tacloban City (January 5) -- The promotion of healthy lifestyle is the major intervention to avoid the common risk factors causing the development of the health menace that is cancer, the Department of Health said.

These common risk factors are unhealthy diet and nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive use of alcohol.

Cancer is largely considered a lifestyle-related disease. Many chemical, biological, radioactive, and other naturally occurring and synthetic substances, as well as predisposing factors and high-risk behaviors like smoking, diet, sexual activity, pollution and occupational exposure have been linked to cancer.

Many different types of cancers have been identified. In the Philippines, the most common sites of reported deaths from cancer are the trachea, bronchus and lung (8.4 deaths per 100,000 population), breast (4.4 per 100,000) and leukemia (2.9 per 100,000). Among males, the leading sites are the lungs, prostate, colorectal area and liver. Among females, the leading sites are the breast, uterus, cervix and lungs. Among children, the leading cancers are the leukemias and lymphomas.

Every year, about 200,000 Filipinos suffer from cancer pain despite the availability of well-established, simple and cost effective methods of cancer pain relief.

Cancer ranks the third in the ten leading causes of mortality. It is common in all age groups and both sexes with the highest number of deaths among males.

Lung cancer ranks the highest cancer site among males while breast cancer ranks the highest cancer site for females.

Indeed, cancer is a major public health threat all over the world. But cancer is a killer disease only when not detected early and poses a great burden not only to the patients, families, communities, sectors of the society and the national development of the country.

In order to sustain the health promotion aspect on the prevention and control of cancer, the Department of Health has scheduled a monthly calendar of events the following calendar of events are celebrated monthly.

In the month of January, the National Cancer Consciousness Week is celebrated every third week of the month.

The month of February is Diet and Exercise Awareness Month while March is Colon and Rectal Awareness Month. April is Cancer in Children Awareness Month while the month of May is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

On the other hand, June is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month; July is Lung Cancer Awareness Month; August is Lung Cancer Awareness Month; September is Liver Cancer Awareness Month; October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; November is Pain Management Awareness Month while the month of December is Thanksgiving Month.

Early detection through screening of high risks individual is the primary concern to halt the progress of the disease. Synchronization of efforts towards the prevention and control is done by both public and private institution and organizations. (PIA 8) [top]

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