Can cancer be prevented?​

Can cancer be prevented?​

According to leading medical professionals, all cancers caused by cigarette smoking and heavy use of alcohol could be prevented completely. Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of cancer deaths are related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and nutrition, and thus could also be prevented.

Certain cancers are related to infectious agents, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and others and could be prevented through lifestyle changes.

Regular screening examinations by a health care professional can result in the prevention of cervical and colorectal cancers through the discovery and removal of precancerous lesions.  Screening can detect cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin at early stages.

For most of these cancers, early detection has been proven to reduce mortality.  A heightened awareness of breast changes or skin changes may also result in detection of these tumors at earlier stages.

Cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases.  The 5-year survival rate for these cancers is about 86%, a reflection of real reductions in mortality as well as earlier diagnosis because of screening.