The incidence of cancer is increasing in the European Region - the total number of new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2012 was 3.7 million; it is expected that by 2030 this number will increase by 25%, reaching 4.6 million cases. This growth is a result of both an aging population and other factors, such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, increased prevalence of overweight and obesity, exposure to carcinogens in the production or the environment (for example, asbestos, benzene, air pollution, UV radiation and radon in the environment), and some pathogens infections (e.g., hepatitis B virus, Helicobacter pylori, and human papilloma virus).
There are many factors of cancer. Genetics is an important factor, since it was discovered that the cancer is inherited. Each type of cancer has its own risk factor, but a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of developing cancer.
WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has published a new edition of the European Code against Cancer.
How to reduce the risk of developing cancer
1. Do not smoke. Avoid all types of tobacco products.
2. Make your home smoke-free. Promote measures to create smoke-free environments at the workplace.
3. Take steps to maintain a healthy body weight.
4. Be physically active in their daily lives. Limit the amount of time you spend in a seated position.
5. Follow a healthy diet:
Eat a lot of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (high in sugar or fat) and avoid drinking sweetened beverages.
Avoid eating meat products subjected to technological processing, and high salt foods.
6. If you use any kind of alcoholic beverages, limit their consumption.
Complete rejection of alcohol can prevent the development of cancer.
7. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, especially in children. Use means of protection from the sun's rays. Do not use tanning beds.
8. In the workplace, protect yourself from exposure to cancer-causing substances, following the rules on occupational safety and health.
9. Find out if you are exposed to radiation due to the high level of natural exposure to radon in the living room. Take measures to reduce the high levels of radon.
10. For women:
If you have such an opportunity, breastfeed. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing cancer in the mother.
Limit the use of hormone replacement therapy, which increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
11. Make sure that your children have been vaccinated against:
Hepatitis B (for newborns).
Human papillomavirus (for girls).
12. Take advantage of organized screening programs for cancer:
Bowel cancer (men and women).
Breast cancer (women).
Cervical cancer (women).
The European Code against Cancer has been prepared by experts, scientists and other experts in the field of oncology, to raise awareness of European citizens about effective ways of preventing cancer.