Save yourself from CANCER : Here is how
4 mins read

Save yourself from CANCER : Here is how

Contributed by

Dr Rifat Jehan.

Department of medical oncology, KCCC, Kuwait.

Recently there has been a lot of research going on for prevention, early detection as well as treatment of cancer. An early detection is the key to treat cancer .While genetic predisposition can not be altered we can alter environmental causes    leading to cancer  

The Latest in Cancer Prevention and Screening

As researchers find new and better ways to target cancers, more people who get the disease will live longer and perhaps even be cured. Their goal isn’t just to treat cancer but to recognize it earlier and prevent it from spreading.

Personalized Care:

Knowing your unique risks can help your doctor lower your odds of getting cancer and test you for the disease. Genetics and other factors like obesity, diet, smoking, and exercise habits play a vital role in cancer. Knowing who’s most likely to get certain types of cancer helps doctors do a better job of checking for it. Obesity is linked to many cancers 

Precise Screening Tests: Sooner is almost always better when it comes to  diagnosing cancer. It’s easier to treat if you catch it before it spreads, however finding it hasn’t been simple ever. 

Cancer screening tests come with some risks too. 

A CT scans expose you to small amounts of radiation and Biopsies and procedures  have side effects also. Screening tests may report false positives or negatives  and both can lead to over treatment or less treatment.

Genetic and genomic tests: These are the new frontier in cancer screening tests.

Looking for changes in genes to find out whether you have cancer and to predict how your tumor might behave like BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes identification. Women with one or both of these have a much higher risk for breast and ovarian cancers.

Genomic tests like PDLI or PIK3 mutations help in providing selective treatment options and better outcomes.

Biomarkers. Identified in blood, urine, and other body fluids

These biomarkers sometimes signal cancer. They can also predict how you might respond to treatment. These include Liver cancer: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Non-small-cell lung cancer: ALK gene, Prostate cancer: prostate-specific antigen (PSA), Thyroid cancer: Thyroglobulin (TG) 

Biomarkers can be elevated in conditions other than cancers so researchers are still trying to figure out the best ways to personalize the use of these tests.

Liquid biopsies.

Blood tests that could pick up many different cancers by circulating DNA, is called as liquid biopsy. In 2016, the FDA approved the first liquid biopsy. It identified changes  in EGFR gene in the blood of people with non-small-cell lung cancer. Other liquid biopsy tests are in process to identify other types of cancers.

Cancer Prevention Drugs

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says at-risk adults ages 50 to 59 should take a daily Aspirin to help prevent both heart disease and colorectal cancer. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) and Aromatase inhibitors( AI) block estrogen receptors and can lower breast cancer risk in patients with high risk.

Cancer Vaccines

These work with your immune system to prevent some causes identified as risk for causing certain cancers. HPV vaccine (cervical cancer ),Hepatitis b vaccine (hepatocellular cancer ) etc .

To conclude while it may be difficult to completely prevent the development of cancer in a genetically susceptible person we can halt it s progression by regular exercise, weight reduction as so many cancers are linked to obesity .Also by avoiding smoking , drug abuse and alcohol lot of other cancers can be prevented . We must Test and treat hepatitis B & HCV and prevent Liver cell cancer .Get HBV vaccinated


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