February is Cancer Prevention Month
According to the World Health Organization 30 to 50 percent of all cancer cases are preventable. The largest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality is tobacco smoking, which kills approximately 6 million people each year (from cancer and other diseases). The reason tobacco smoke is so dangerous is that there are 7,000 chemicals in the smoke, and of those 7,000 chemicals 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to be carcinogens. Tobacco in all forms is a dangerous product that causes many types of cancer. When it is smoked, it causes lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervical cancers. It is also known to cause lung cancer in people who encounter second-hand smoke. As smokeless tobacco, it can give someone oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.
Another substance that causes a preventable cancer is asbestos. Exposure to the material causes mesothelioma as well as lung, larynx, colorectal, and ovarian cancers. Asbestos is a collection of fibrous silicate minerals that have small fibers that become airborne when agitated. Once in the air, the sharp, needle-like fibers become lodged in a person’s lungs or other types of tissue, causing lung cancer or mesothelioma. Since mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos, the best way to prevent this cancer is to avoid asbestos exposure altogether.
Other than avoiding tobacco and asbestos, there are other ways to try and prevent cancer. Limiting alcohol, eating a proper diet with fruits and vegetables, and avoiding processed meat are a great way to start. People also need to maintain a healthy weight, which should be easy if they are maintaining a proper diet. Sunlight should also be avoided, especially midday sun (from 10 AM to 4 PM). Other things can be done to avoid the sun like staying in the shade and covering up exposed areas as well as using proper SPF sunscreen (at least 30). People also need to go to the doctor regularly to be screened for different types of cancer. Getting vaccinated for Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) is also important. This helps to prevent liver cancer (caused by Hepatitis B) and cervical and other genital cancers (caused by HPV).
If you have been exposed to asbestos and now have mesothelioma or lung cancer you may be entitled to compensation. Fill out our contact form or call us at 412-471-3980 to speak to an attorney and learn your options.
“Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk” National Cancer Institute (June 7, 2017). [Link]
“Cancer Prevention” World Health Organization [Link]
Laurie Kazan-Allen, “Asbestos: Properties, Uses, and Problems” International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (May 2, 2000). [Link]
Mayo Clinic Staff, “Cancer prevention: 7 tips to reduce your risk” Mayo Clinic (November 29, 2018). [Link]