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Know your Cancer Risk and Problems to Watch for

Cancer knows no boundaries, does not warn, attacks young or old, male or female with or without a family history and (or) unhealthy lifestyle. It has claimed 800,000 lives in 2001 to 3.3 million now, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

What is cancer?
Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. There are many

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kinds of cancer, and all start because of uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, which then forms a tumor. If left untreated, tumors can grow and spread into the surrounding normal tissue, or to other parts of the body via bloodstream and lymphatic system, and can affect the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems.

Tumours (lumps) can be of two types - benign or malignant.

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Benign tumors are not cancerous and rarely threaten life. They grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body.

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Malignant tumors are faster growing than benign tumors. They spread and destroy neighboring tissue. Cells of malignant tumors can break off from the main (primary) tumor and spread to other parts of the body.

How can cancer be detected early?
The earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance for a full recovery. With regular medical checkups and certain self-exams, the doctor can detect cancer through a physical exam or routine tests, even without any symptoms. Find out your cancer risk, problems to watch for, by scheduling regular checkups with the doctor.

How can it be prevented?
Diet, weight & physical activity can reduce cancer risk. Global research analysis shows that about a third of the most common cancers can be prevented through nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular physical activity

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Body Fat - Research shows strong evidence that weight gain, overweight and obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel, breast, prostate, pancreatic, etc. Researchers advise maintaining body weight within the normal range of BMI from age 21; Avoiding weight gain and increase in waist circumference throughout adulthood.

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Physical Activity - Be physically active equivalent to brisk walking for at least 30 minutes every day; Limit sedentary habits, sitting for long hours.

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Diet - Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (high in fats and/or added sugars and/or low in fiber) and avoid sugary drinks.

Are there any Symptoms and Treatment?
Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Most treatment plans include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Some may involve hormone therapy, biologic therapy or stem cell transplantation.

Behavioral change in terms of lifestyle is key to the prevention and control of cancer.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.

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