Is it possible to prevent cancer?
Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world compared to the past. Studies show that approximately 250,000 new cancer cases develop in Turkey every year. It is reported that there are approximately 450,000 cancer patients still undergoing treatment. In 2030, it is estimated that this number will be around 400,000 new cases per year and 800,000 treated cancer patients. While there are still 10,000,000 new cancer cases in the world, it is expected that the annual number of new cases will exceed 15,000,000 with a marked increase, especially in developing or underdeveloped countries, after 2020. Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Hakan Karagöl gave comprehensive information about cancer treatment and prevention.
Modern treatment methods affect the course of cancer
Cancer is a disease that is treated much better today than 30 years ago. In this; Significant advances in surgical methods and more advanced radiotherapy methods such as Gamaknife and Cyberknife, which have developed with the incorporation of electronics into radiotherapy (radiation therapy) methods, contribute.
In addition, with smart drugs (antibodies, small molecule oral drugs, etc.) that have been developed in the process of determining the human genome map, especially in the last 10 years, significant life extensions have begun to be obtained in cancer types that were previously difficult to treat in advanced disease. (For example, in a type of cancer called Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor originating from the intestine or stomach, success cannot be achieved with any treatment method at an advanced stage, but a significant prolongation of life span has been achieved with a small molecule smart drug developed after 2000). Since cancer is a disease in which an intense, long and painful treatment process is experienced, especially in the advanced stage, it is a disease that requires great effort to avoid it.
The most common types of cancer in our country
The most common types of cancer in our country, similar to the rest of the world, are prostate and lung cancer in men and breast and lung cancer in women. Colon cancers are in the 3rd rank in both men and women. Most deaths occur from lung cancer in both men and women. The reason for this difference in the cause of death from cancer; This is due to the fact that breast and prostate cancers are tumors that respond relatively better to treatments.
Is it possible to treat cancer without chemotherapy?
In our country, cancer should not be considered as frequent in some regions and less in some regions. Some cancers are more common in some regions. For example, stomach cancers are more common than other cancers in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. Again, in some small geographical areas of our country, for example, lung or peritoneal cancer called Mesothelioma; It is frequently seen for reasons such as the use of asbestos-containing white soil for house whitewashing. For this reason, the incidence of cancer is similar between regions, but there is a difference in the frequency of cancer types.
Cancer types that were not uncommon in our country in the past, but are becoming increasingly common.
Considering the causes, the factors that cause the most common cancer development today; malnutrition, sedentary life, overweight, environmental pollution, bad habits such as smoking and alcohol, and some types of infectious microbial diseases. We know that genetics plays an important role in some types of cancer.
Another disease that shows that environmental factors are important is lung cancer. Because 150 years ago, when doctors saw patients with lung cancer, they were surprised because it was seen very rarely, but today, with the increase in smoking around the world, lung cancer has become the most common type of cancer. One data showing that nutrition is important In a study conducted in children of people who immigrated from Japan to the USA, it was found that more common cancers unique to Japan are less common in these children, that common cancers specific to the USA are also more common in these children. It has been determined that eating habits and environmental conditions are effective.
Is it possible to “prevent cancer”?
It is possible to prevent cancer. Because genetic cancers constitute 10-15% of all cancer types, while the cancer causes mentioned above constitute the remaining 85%. Considering these factors, it can be understood that it is most likely possible to prevent cancer.
Especially among the types of cancer that we can protect; cancers of the stomach, intestines, lungs, pancreas, mouth and larynx, esophagus, bladder can be counted. These include prevention and nutrition methods specific to each type of cancer.
Misconceptions we know about cancer!
Information about cancer that is said a lot in the community but is wrong:
- Cancer is an incurable disease
- A knife is not stabbed in a cancer patient.
- Chemotherapy actually kills the patient, not the disease, it is of no use.
- The cure for cancer has been found, but it is hidden from people so that pharmaceutical companies can profit
- Nutrition is important in the prevention of cancer, but nutrition is not important in the treatment.
Be careful with your diet against cancer!
Nutrition in cancer includes two elements. First; The factors that we should pay attention to about our daily frequently used foods, secondly, to increase our knowledge about foods that we do not know the importance of as a society, such as asparagus, dandelion, turmeric.
The issue of nutrition during cancer prevention and cancer treatment is very important and should be explained in detail to all segments of the society. Therefore, what I need to say briefly here is to act according to the recommendations of oncologists who are experts in cancer in daily life, but also attach importance to nutrition issues.
Is there a definitive solution to cancer disease?
Cancer cure will one day be possible. This period will take maybe 10 years, maybe centuries, but I believe that a definitive solution will be found to this disease, which is the plague of our age, in the end. Today, in the last 10 years, very important scientific developments have been achieved in cancer treatment, especially in drug treatments. With these developments, very serious successes have been achieved in prolonging the lifespan and increasing the quality of life, especially in advanced stage patients. The root of these successes was the increase in the knowledge about the human genome and thus the gaining of a new perspective to cancer treatment. In my opinion, still looking at the disease for the definitive treatment of cancer, just as the new perspective that started in science in the transition from the middle ages to the modern age, shapes today’s science and technology…
The discovery of something new outside of the known medical patterns in cancer treatment is the need to switch to a new scientific perspective on the human body and its diseases.
The point reached today regarding the treatment of cancer is the harbinger of very good developments for the future. However, as individuals, prevention from cancer is also an important factor for both ourselves and our family, and it is necessary to insist on doing many positive things such as good nutrition, staying away from bad habits, and staying away from weight.
Oncology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Hakan Karagol