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How Filipino men can reduce risks to deadliest types of cancer

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How Filipino men can reduce risks to deadliest types of cancer

Post by Y I N G on Thu 18 Aug 2011, 4:44 pm

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Filipino men are advised to be more health-conscious to lessen risks to the most common types of cancer.

“The top four cancers that kill Filipino men are cancer of the lung, liver, colon and prostate,” said Dr. Jose Garcia Jr., president of Philippine Society of Oncologists.

Some 6,987 Filipino men in every 100,000 have succumbed to lung cancer, while liver cancer accounts for 5,102 deaths (also in every 100,000), according to the 2010 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates.

Meanwhile, the same report found that colorectal or colon cancer and prostate cancer resulted in 1,690 and 1,410 deaths, respectively, also out of every 100,000 reported cases among Filipino males .

“A healthy lifestyle is key to enjoy life and live longer. We only have one body so let us keep ourselves healthy because when we do we also do not overburden the health system due to diseases caused by bad lifestyle choices,” advised Garcia.

“There are lifestyle choices an individual can make that can help him remain cancer-free,” he stressed.

Around 95 percent of the total number of lung cancer cases (and the resulting 80 percent mortality rate among men with lung cancer) can be directly attributed to smoking cigarettes.

Studies show that smokers who quit can lower their lung cancer risk by approximately 50 percent compared to those who continue to smoke regularly. “Cancer is a very expensive disease to treat, so prevention is always a better option,” said Garcia.

Common risk factors associated with liver cancer are chronic infection with hepatitis B and C, heavy alcohol use and cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, diabetes, obesity and exposure to aflatoxins and vinyl chloride.

“Filipinos are known to have a love for drinking alcohol to celebrate or to pass the time. But everything should be taken in moderation because too much can cause cirrhosis, which usually precedes the development of liver cancer, the second cause of death among Filipino men,” said Garcia.

Meanwhile, colon cancer has 52 percent death rate due to late diagnosis. To prevent it, males are advised to avoid high-fat diets and practice regular screening for those with a family history of the disease.

“Early screening for colon cancer is necessary to detect the presence of polyps in the colon that may signal the onset of this cancer,” said Dr. Garcia.

For prostate cancer, early detection is also crucial because it is a “slow developing” disease. Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are contributing factors.

“If detected early while the tumor is still localized, the five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is up to 99 percent. Once the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, bones and other organs, prognosis will be bleak,” said Garcia.

Overall, adults are advised to have cancer-related check-up every three years between the ages of 20 to 39 years old.

For those 50 years old and above, certain tests are recommended including annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy every ten years, double contrast barium enema exam every five years and virtual colonoscopy every five years

Y I N G
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