Integrated Cancer Research Foundation – Kenya

Evidence Based Research & Awareness

Preventing cancer

Prevention is the best strategy when it comes to controlling cancer. Did you know that about 30-50% of cancers can be prevented? More and more people are now surviving cancer than ever before.

There is no sure way to prevent cancer, but you can reduce your risks by making healthy choices. The most effective way of preventing cancer is by understanding the factors that increase your chances of developing cancer and taking active steps to reduce your chances of developing cancer.

1. Go for screening

Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that affect your body and increase your chances of developing certain types of cancers.

Smoking is associated with the following cancers:  lung, pancreatic, esophageal and oral cancer Tobacco use – bladder, blood, cervix, colon and rectum, oesophagus, kidney and renal pelvis, liver, lungs, bronchi, and trachea, mouth and throat, pancreas, stomach, voice box.

What you can do:

  • If you do not smoke, do not start.
  • If you smoke, seek assistance to help you quit
  • Avoid second hand tobacco smoke by staying away from cigarette smoke. 

1. Avoid smoking

Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that affect your body and increase your chances of developing certain types of cancers.

Smoking is associated with the following cancers:  lung, pancreatic, esophageal and oral cancer Tobacco use – bladder, blood, cervix, colon and rectum, oesophagus, kidney and renal pelvis, liver, lungs, bronchi, and trachea, mouth and throat, pancreas, stomach, voice box.

What you can do:

  • If you do not smoke, do not start.
  • If you smoke, seek assistance to help you quit
  • Avoid second hand tobacco smoke by staying away from cigarette smoke. 

2. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is a known carcinogen (substance that cause cancer). It is associated with about 7 types of cancers including mouth, throat, oesophageal, breast, colorectal, liver, and stomach cancers. People who use both alcohol and tobacco are at a much higher risk developing cancer than people who use either alcohol or tobacco alone.

How does alcohol cause cancer?

When you drink alcohol, the body breaks it down into a toxic chemical that can damage your DNA (genetic mutation) and this can lead to cancer. The toxic chemical also reduces your body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients such as vitamins A, vitamin B, C,D, E.

What You Can Do:

The more alcohol you drink, the higher the risks of developing alcohol related cancers. If you drink alcohol, it is recommended that you limit it to 2 drinks per day for men or 1 drink per day for women. If you do not drink alcohol, it is recommended that you do not start for whatever reason.