Preventing Cancer: The Code for Cancer Prevention recommends 12 rules with which every individual has the chance to keep their own risk, of developing cancer as low as possible. As early as the 1980s, cancer experts were commissioned by the then European Community (today the EU) to draw up the so-called European Code of Conduct for Cancer Prevention. It writes to the Cancer Society about its origins.
In the meantime, 12 rules have been laid down in the Code (as of 2019), which should give everyone the chance to reduce their cancer risk. Under the World Health Organization (WHO) umbrella, the Code is regularly updated. However, this only refers to certain types of cancer, which are caused, for example, by environmental influences and lifestyle.
Preventing Cancer: These Are The 12 Points
- Don’t smoke. And refrain from consuming any tobacco products.
- Keep your home and workplace smoke-free.
Everyone should know by now that smoking is harmful. But what exactly smoking and passive smoking does to our bodies is something that very few are aware of. Because tobacco consumption not only has a direct effect on the respiratory tract. Nicotine influences many other processes in the body.
- Maintain healthy body weight and maintain it. Being overweight is also associated with an increased risk of cancer.
- Move daily and avoid doing sedentary activities as much as possible.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, and prepare your meals, so you know what you’re eating.
Drink mostly water and minimise sweetened high-calorie beverages. You should also limit your consumption of processed meat, red meat, and salty foods.
- Drink as little alcohol as possible. At the very least, you should significantly limit consumption. Of course, to minimise cancer risk, it would be best not to drink alcohol at all.
- Avoid too much sun and always use adequate sun protection. Take special care that your children do not get too much sun and are always protected. You should avoid sunbathing.
- Protect yourself from carcinogenic substances, especially at work. Adhere to health and safety regulations and follow health and safety instructions. The same applies to hobby artisans. You should inform yourself about possible dangers and keep the exposure risk as low as possible.
- Keep radon exposure in your home to a minimum. Find out if you are exposed to naturally high radon levels in your home. If necessary, take steps to reduce radon levels.
- For women, having a baby and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is therefore advisable for women to breastfeed if possible.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Therefore, it is essential to weigh up carefully with the doctor treating you whether HRT is essential and valuable.
- Certain viruses, parasites, and bacteria can also play a role in developing cancer. It is therefore essential that your children receive certain vaccinations. For example, babies should be vaccinated against hepatitis B to protect against liver cancer. And for girls, vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) makes sense to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
- Remember to take customary precautions yourself and take advantage of all the cancer screening tests offered. Because the earlier a possible cancer is discovered, the better the chances of treatment or recovery.