Cancer Screenings Save Lives Preventive Measures Essential! (2)

Cancer Screenings Save Lives: Preventive Measures Essential!

According to the World Health Organization, there were 19 million 976 thousand new cases of cancer in the world in 2022. Approximately 10 million people die from cancer each year, making it the cause of about one in six deaths and one of the biggest health problems globally.

In Turkey, 240 thousand people were diagnosed with cancer in 2022 and more than 679 thousand people are living with cancer. It is predicted that cancer, whose incidence is gradually increasing today, will knock on the doors of 26 million more people in the world in 2030. It is stated that this rise will be largely due to population growth and prolonged life expectancy. Moreover, cancer, which used to be known as a disease of advanced age, now threatens the young age group as well!

Dünya Sağlık Örgütü 2022'de Kanser Vakaları 19 Milyonu Aştı! (1)
Acıbadem Maslak Hastanesi Tıbbi Onkoloji Uzmanı Prof. Dr. Özlem Er

Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er warns that the incidence of cancer in people under the age of 50 has increased by 80 percent in recent years compared to 1990.

Dünya Sağlık Örgütü 2022'de Kanser Vakaları 19 Milyonu Aştı! (4)

Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er draws attention to the fact that faulty lifestyle and exposure to environmental risk factors at an early age increase the risk of cancer in young adults and says, “The most important factors in the spread of cancer in the young age group are risk factors such as faulty eating habits, obesity, which is an important problem of our age, smoking and alcohol consumption.”

Cancer Screenings Save Lives Preventive Measures Essential! (1)

Increased by 80 percent in the last 30 years!

While the incidence of so-called late-onset cancers, which occur in adults over the age of 50, is higher today, the global incidence of early-onset cancers in adults under the age of 50 is on the rise. In a study, scientists investigated the global burden of 29 cancers diagnosed in people under the age of 50, based on 2019 data from 204 countries and territories. Cancer cases diagnosed between the ages of 14-49 were considered early-onset cancers. The study found that there has been an 80 percent increase in the incidence of cancer in people under the age of 50 compared to 1990. In the study, it was determined that nasal and prostate cancers were the types of cancer that showed the fastest increase in the early age group. In terms of mortality rates, the fastest increasing trend was seen in kidney and ovarian cancers. It is also estimated by experts that the incidence of cancers seen under the age of 50 will increase by 31 percent in 2030.

Dünya Sağlık Örgütü 2022'de Kanser Vakaları 19 Milyonu Aştı! (5)

The most effective measure is regular screening programs

Today, it is heartening that many types of cancer can be detected at an early stage through regular screening programs. Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er points out that cancer screening programs are the most effective preventive measure against cancer and related disease burden in the young age group and says, “For example, some types of cancer, such as colon and cervical cancer, can be detected by screening programs before cancer develops. Therefore, it is of vital importance to have regular screening programs.”

Cancer is now a treatable disease

Thanks to recent advances in medicine, cancer is now one of the most treatable diseases. So much so that many types of cancer are now considered chronic diseases. Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er pointed out that the ‘precision oncology’ approach is one of the best new weapons to defeat cancer in recent years and said, “Precision oncology involves examining the genetic structure and molecular characteristics of cancer in each patient. This approach identifies changes in cells that can cause cancer to grow and spread. This information is then used to determine the most appropriate personalized treatments for the patient.”

Successful results with targeted therapy

Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Özlem Er pointed out that highly successful results have been obtained from targeted therapies in many cancer types, especially breast, bowel and kidney cancers, and said, “Immunotherapy is one of the methods that have come to the forefront in oncological treatments in the last few years. The aim of immunotherapy treatment is to reactivate the patient’s own defense systems so that they can fight the disease. This method has taken its place as the standard treatment approach today.” Prof. Dr. Özlem Er says that the number of chemotherapy drugs has also increased and appropriate supportive therapies have been developed to have fewer side effects.

Dünya Sağlık Örgütü 2022'de Kanser Vakaları 19 Milyonu Aştı! (6)

7 measures to prevent cancer!

The risk of developing cancer can be reduced with adjustments to living habits. Prof. Dr. Özlem Er summarizes the most important measures you should take to prevent cancer as follows:

Avoid smoking and alcohol

Eat vegetables and fruits

Exercise regularly

Maintain your ideal weight

Avoid processed foods

Do not consume carbonated drinks

Limit sun exposure to 15 minutes a day

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