Cancer is still the second largest cause of death after cardiovascular disorders, although in the last few years a trend in reducing mortality for certain tumours has been observed, in spite of an increase in the rate of incidence. This changing trend is basically due to an improvement in monitoring known carcinogens, an improved and early diagnosis, and advances in treatments.
Cancer is a general term used for a group of diseases that are characterised by uncontrolled cell division and growth. Certain cancers can be prevented. Evidence proves the benefits that are gained by giving up smoking, increasing your daily intake of vegetables, fresh fruit and cereals high in fibre content, and limiting the consumption of fat-rich foods and alcoholic beverages, as well as doing physical exercise, avoiding excess weight and over exposure to the sun or other environmental risks, and the use of the right protection against risks at work.
An important point of reference is the European Code Against Cancer. At this moment, the advice they provide concerning primary prevention seems to be among the most strongly linked to a reduction in the incidence of cancer in real terms. In fact, the majority of existing plans against cancer base their primary prevention strategies around these ideas, and on their dissemination.
Moreover, if the disease is detected early, the chances of survival are greater, which is why it is recommended to take part in Early Detection Programmes.
In the Region of Valencia, there is a Breast Cancer Prevention Programme for women between the ages of 45 and 69, as well as a Bowel Cancer Prevention Programme for men and women between the ages of 50 and 69.
For the early detection of cervical cancer, women from the age of 20 are invited to have a cervical screening test at their local health centre.
If there is a history of cancer in your first-degree family members, you should consult with your GP, who will let you know if you need to participate in the Genetic Counselling in Cancer Programme.