Did you know that between 30 and 40% of cancers could be prevented by following healthy lifestyle habits? To raise awareness about its importance, the Cris Contra el Cáncer Foundation has created The Oncosaludometer, a tool that allows us to know our risk of developing it and gives us the keys to reduce the probabilities
To discuss this close relationship between lifestyle habits and cancer, El Bisturí has had the collaboration of Emilia Gómez Pardo, a doctor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a master’s degree in Nutrition, and a scientific advisor on prevention issues at the Cris Contra el Foundation. Cancer. She has been the person in charge of designing this tool, the Oncosaludometer.
As she explains, the situation right now in Spain, in terms of lifestyle habits, “is not very promising.” And it is that, although the awareness of the population is increasing, and we know that our lifestyle has a lot to do with health (and with disease), the indicators are only growing.
“So for the trend to change, it is essential to invite people to take action,” she says.
“The Oncosaludometer is an online questionnaire with 10 questions that aims to answer the question ‘what do I have to know to really make healthy choices in my day to day?”
The first objective is to raise awareness of the impact that our daily decisions have; the second, that people know how to identify what they are doing well to maintain it and what not, to change it; and the last, and most important, to transform scientific knowledge into very concrete recommendations, “she explains.
“When you finish this short test, you know where you are and how you can improve to reduce the chances of suffering from cancer”, concludes the doctor.
Five keys to preventing cancer
The Cris Contra el Cáncer Foundation also presented, a few months ago, a guide entitled “The five keys to preventing cancer” which, like the Oncosaludometer, is based on the recommendations of the World Fund for Cancer Research.
As Gómez explains, these keys are weight, since both overweight and obesity are risk factors; two crucial life habits such as diet and physical activity; and two risk behaviors, which are tobacco and alcohol consumption.
Among the guidelines that are given in terms of physical activity, for example, are moving and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. “The WHO recommends doing 150 minutes a week. This is how you make it difficult for at least seven types of cancer ”, emphasizes the expert.
Cancers that could be prevented
“There are many types of cancer related to lifestyle habits, but those that are most so are precisely the five most prevalent in Spain: colon, breast, prostate, bladder and lung” , says the doctor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
“In the case of lung cancer, we all know that it is closely related to smoking, but in prostate or breast cancer, many do not know that they have tools to prevent them in their hands,” she laments.
In addition, she emphasizes that 30/40% of cancers could be prevented with healthy habits.
How can the situation be reversed?
The future, as the expert says, can be seen on both sides of the coin; It can be hopeful as long as people accept that degree of responsibility for their self-care and work to develop healthy habits.
However, the downside “is the data that is on the table, which shows that we have a huge problem. It is true that mortality has decreased with advances in therapies, early diagnoses and prevention campaigns, but the incidence, the number of new cases each year, only increases, “she warns.