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Combatting Cancer: The Fight for a Healthier Future

by | May 26, 2023 | Cancer, Community

Cancer cases have been rising over the years, and the number of people living with cancer will continue to increase.

During the period from 2016-2020, 80,753 cancer cases were reported in Singapore. 49% and 51% of those cases were reported in males and females respectively.

1 in 4 to 5 Singaporeans are expected to get cancer by the age of 75. In 2021, cancer accounted for 26.4% of deaths and is the number 1 cause of death in Singapore. 

The most common cancers among females are breast, colorectal, and lung cancer, while the most common cancers among males in Singapore are colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer. However, it’s important to note that cancer risk can vary depending on factors such as age, lifestyle habits, family history, and environmental factors.

Cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, potentially invading and damaging surrounding tissues and organs. These abnormal cells can form tumours, which can be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Malignant tumours can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, a process known as metastasis. This is what makes cancer so dangerous, as it can affect multiple organs and tissues in the body.

There are many different types of cancer, and each type is classified based on the location in the body where it starts, and the type of cells involved. Common types of cancer include breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer, among others.

The causes of cancer can vary, but some factors that may increase the risk of developing cancer include genetics, exposure to carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer), lifestyle factors such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, and certain infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV) or hepatitis B or C.

Cancer is typically treated with a combination of therapies such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy, depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Early detection and prompt treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome.

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer, there are several things one can do to reduce the risk of developing the disease:

  1. Avoid tobacco: Smoking and using tobacco products is a major risk factor for many types of cancer. Quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco use can significantly reduce your risk.
  2. Eat a healthy diet: A healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Limiting your intake of processed and red meats, sugary drinks, and alcohol may also lower your risk.
  3. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes every day if you can.
  4. Protect your skin: Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and tanning beds increases the risk of skin cancer. Wear protective clothing, use sunscreen with a high SPF, and avoid spending time in the sun during peak hours to protect your skin.
  5. Get vaccinated: Vaccines can protect against certain viruses that are linked to cancer, including hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV).
  6. Practice safe sex: Certain sexually transmitted infections, such as HPV and HIV, can increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Practicing safe sex can help reduce your risk.
  7. Get regular check-ups: Regular cancer screenings can help detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Consult your doctor on which screening tests are recommended for you based on your age, gender, and medical history.

While following these guidelines can help reduce your risk of cancer, it is important to discuss any concerns with your doctor, especially if you have a family history of cancer or other risk factors.

Are you aware that you can have your screenings done at NO Cost at Singapore Cancer Society Clinic if you meet the eligibility criteria? Wait no more, call 1800-727-3333 to book your screening appointment as early detection saves lives. 

Do check out Singapore Cancer Society for more resource and information.

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