Cancer prevention through risk reduction strategies
You can teach your community members how to reduce their risk of developing cancer by avoiding certain behaviours and habits.
Look again at the list of cancer risk factors in the previous section. What advice can you give to help people in your community to reduce their cancer risks? (In the answers below, we have added in brackets which cancers can be reduced by each strategy.)
You could advise them to:
- Avoid cigarette smoking or chewing tobacco or khat (they increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, colon and bladder)
- Avoid excessive alcohol usage (which is a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, breast and liver)
- Eat a healthy diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and other high-fibre foods from plant sources like whole grains, peas and beans (this helps in reducing cancer risks in the whole of the gastrointestinal system)
- Maintain a healthy weight (this reduces the risk of many cancers, including cancers of the ovaries and breast)
- Avoid exposure to industrial chemicals by wearing personal protective clothing (this reduces the risk of lung and skin cancers, among others)
- Avoid exposure to cancer-promoting viruses (described here).