Cancer Prevention – Medisignal Newsletter – Volume 1 – Issue 1

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The Medisys team is proud to help you achieve your health objectives. In order to support your initiatives and keep you informed, we have written a series of short health capsules. You will occasionally receive reliable information that will help you make the right choices and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

In Canada, more than 200 people died of cancer every day in 2012, and nearly 4,000 people and their friends and family learned that they had cancer.*

* Canadian Cancer Society Steering Committee: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto: Canadian Cancer Society, 2012.

Today, World Cancer Day

Did you know that at least one third of cancer cases are preventable?

That is the belief of the World Health Organization. It supports World Cancer Day, which is being celebrated today around the world. Like Medisys, the organization considers prevention to be the most effective tool in the fight against cancer.

Change your lifestyle habits

Not easy, you say . . . but definitely worth the effort. It has been proven that many cancers are attributed to lifestyle choices. Here is a bit of advice from our Medisys experts to help you put all the chances on your side.

Is chronic stress a source of cancer?

Since the 1950s, researchers have hypothesized that chronic stress increases the risk of certain types of cancer. According to our stress expert Dr. Richard Earle, however, the findings are far from conclusive based on the complex relationship of stress with other risk factors that are easier to study, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and smoking. Nevertheless, stress has a negative effect on the immune system, which could play a role in the development of cancer.

One more reason to be physically active

Many of us are aware of the link between being overweight and the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Fewer of us, however, realize that excess weight represents a risk factor for oesophageal, colorectal, breast, endometrial and kidney cancer. Fortunately, regular physical exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and considerably reduces cancer risk. Research shows that even a small increase in physical activity can have a major positive impact. Even everyday activities count. Walking, doing household chores, playing with your kids and gardening are all activities that can have a preventive effect.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine . . . not only for women

The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) reduces the risk of certain types of HPV that can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva (in women), the anus (in men), and several other diseases that affect both sexes. That says a lot, considering that the virus is responsible for more than 70% of cervical cancers. The vaccine is recommended as much for men aged 9 to 26 as for women aged 9 to 45.Consult your doctor to know whether the vaccine is right for you.

Quit smoking, classic advice

We can’t emphasize it enough: smoking is the single most avoidable risk factor for cancer, causing an estimated 20% of cancer deaths per year. To boost your chances of quitting successfully, don’t do it alone! Visit the websites below for support:

Québec: iquitnow.qc.ca Ontario: albertaquits.ca
Alberta: smokershelpline.ca British Columbia: quitnow.ca

 

info-graphic(click on image to enlarge)

What role does genetics play?

Contrary to popular belief, only 5 to 10% of cancer cases can be linked to genetic predisposition** , according to Medisys genetics counsellor Katherine Hodson.Nevertheless, a family history of cancer could result in increased risk. Ask about your family’s medical history. We suggest enlisting a specialist to analyze the history of cancer in your family, to help you identify actual risks and adopt any necessary precautions. Also, your concerns could turn out to be unfounded.

** Also stated by the Canadian Cancer Society.

There are several other ways of reducing cancer risk. To learn more about cancer prevention and World Cancer Day, visit the WHO website.

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