Cancer Doubts .com
  Information for patients researching their options

Learn about cancer and
Talk to your doctor with confidence

  Cancer information  

 
         
 Contents
01 What is cancer?
02 Cancer symptoms and screening (how cancer is detected)
03 Causes of cancer
04 Can cancer be prevented?
05 Cancer Stages
(how long do patients live?)
06 Cancer treatment and therapy (how cancer is treated)
07 Types of doctors who treat cancer
08 Choosing a doctor (or getting a second opinion)
09 Preparing for Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy
10 Cancer support (patient psychology and feelings)
11 Cancer suport - How friends can help
12 Is it important to do my own research? (or do I just follow doctor's orders)
13 Cancer information (research your treatment options)
14 Alternative and complementary treatments for cancer
15 Avoiding dubious treatments
16 How medical research is done (how to read medical research papers)
A About this site
 

Can cancer be prevented?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer from developing, but there are some things we can do to reduce the risk of it happening. The most obvious thing to do is to avoid all known carcinogens. For example, cigarette smoke is a known carcinogen, so it makes sense to avoid it as far as possible. Likewise, charred barbecued meat is another known carcinogen, so cutting down on it would be helpful.

But there are probably many carcinogens that we simply don't know about yet. It is also possible that cancer may develop when the body lacks certain nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals etc), or simply because of chemical imbalances in the body. We simply don't know for sure. But scientists can make educated guesses as to what might reduce the risk of cancer by studying what a group of people eat and seeing how their health progresses as they get older. Such studies are known as epidemiological studies, and they rely on large groups of people to report on their activities, diets and health over many years.

For example, large scale studies have observed that a statistically significant number of people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and less red meat, have lower rates of colon cancer. This is why we hear recommendations to eat less red meat in order to prevent colon cancer. It is not because medical science knows how chemicals in red meat trigger colon cells to become cancerous. Naturally, the accuracy of these dietary recommendations rests heavily on how well these epidemiological studies were conducted in the first place. For example, did the participants accurately report what they ate? were there other factors that could have accounted for the difference in cancer rates which the study might have missed - e.g. perhaps the fruit eaters were mostly nurses who are generally more health conscious?

Cancer may also be more likely as we age, simply because our immune systems become weaker and because the cells in our body will have undergone much more duplication (mitosis) over the years. The combination of weaker immunity and the greater chance of errors in cellular division may make cancer an inevitable consequence of old age.

Cancer patients may wonder if there was something they could have done to prevent their cancer from happening, but it is usually difficult to pinpoint the cause of a patient's cancer. The only exceptions when the patient has come into contact with known carcinogens repeatedly, such as cigarette smoke, asbestos fibers, or excessive radiation.

 

 


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Medical information for cancer I am not a medical professional; please consult your doctor for a medical opinion. This is my attempt to explain cancer to anyone who is affected by it. If this site helps just one person, then it will have served its purpose.

 

 
 Cancer Links
Prominent research and treatment centers
Stanford Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Kimmel Center at Johns Hopkins
Dana-Farber/Harvard
Mayo Clinic
 
Information on Drugs
Drugs at FDA
NCI Drug Info
 
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Information
Sloan Kettering
(Integrative Medicine Service)
Medline Plus
American Cancer Society
PDR (Herbals and Supplements)
 
Complementary Medicine and Supplement Suppliers
Cuesta Agaricus Mushrooms
Agaricus Farm Mushrooms
Mitobi Mushrooms
Freshes Mushrooms [Bulk]
AllStarHealth [Maitake D-Fraction]
Maitake Products [D-Fraction]
LifeStream [BRM 360 capsules]
Himalaya Herbals [Ashwagandha]
Vita Green [Yun Zhi extract]
 
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials (NIH)
 
Research Papers
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Google Scholar
 
New Drug Approvals / Drugs in the pipeline
FDA approvals
 
Helpful Books and Sites
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy survival guide
Cancer Guide.org
The biology of cancer
 
Patient Stories
Andrew Grove
Steve Dunn

 


 

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Site Copyright © 2008 Wei-lung Wang. Top banner images from the Wikimedia Commons, and used under the terms of the GNU General Public License.