15 May 2012
Members of the public and the government alike are being encouraged to do more in order to boost awareness of cancer.
With this week being Cancer Prevention Week, now could be the best opportunity to become better educated about some of the most life-threatening diseases on the planet.
Cancer Prevention Week takes place between May 14th and 18th and was devised by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). In order to make the public more aware of the cancers which could be threatening a person's health, the organisation is addressing the need to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as setting up a variety of fun fitness activities.
One of the main fundraising events which the WCRF is hoping to promote is Fruity Friday, which occurs on May 18th.
People can easily get involved in the occasion by wearing yellow clothing to work and donating a small sum of cash towards the WCRF. On top of this, Fruity Friday could be the day that someone opts to eat one more piece of fruit or a portion of vegetables than what they would normally consume.
These sorts of foods are known to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with a form of cancer, as Dr Lara Bennett, science communication manager at the Association for International Cancer Research, was keen to acknowledge.
When looking into how the government can help reduce people's risk factors for cancer, she said the coalition can promote "healthy living including being active, healthy eating - diets high in fruit and veg and low in red and processed meat - and staying out of the sun during peak times."
These were just some of the suggestions laid out by Dr Bennett when it comes to detailing how the government can help in the fight against cancer.
On top of a healthy diet, the expert believes that more of an effort should be done to actually make people aware of the actual risk factors associated with the disease.
"For example, most people know smoking is bad for you, but they are unaware how bad and how many different types of cancer smoking can affect," Dr Bennett attested.
"[The government can] make people more aware of the amount of alcohol that they drink and that it can increase their risk of many types of cancer."
Of course, one way to prevent people from drinking too much alcohol or smoking is to focus on younger individuals. A little encouragement to teenagers to keep their drinking in moderation or working to get those who have taken up smoking to stamp out their habit can go a long way and help Brits to enjoy healthier lives.
Other recommendations for reducing the risk of cancer include avoiding using supplements where possible, limiting the amount of salt added to meals and trying to avoid dishes filled with such red meats as pork, beef and lamb.
Dr Bennett was also keen to note that people should participate in national screening campaigns whenever possible. The initiatives can help detect signs of anything from cervical cancer to breast cancer and bowel cancer.
"These are all designed to catch cancer early or to detect pre-cancerous changes. The earlier cancer is detected, the higher the chance of successful treatment," the medical expert added.
It is not just medical experts and cancer charities which are hoping to raise awareness of cancer. Highly-celebrated Hollywood actor Michael Douglas has teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) in the hope of educating people better about oral cancer.
The Wall Street star knows what it is like to battle against this disease, having been diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010.
In order to speak out about his experience and how people can limit the suffering that oral cancer can cause, Mr Douglas is planning to make a public service announcement regarding the condition. This will be broadcast on television across the US.
Commenting on the partnership, the OCF's founder and executive director Brian Hill believes the actor will represent a "respected voice to this fight".
He also stressed: "The Foundation is indebted to Michael Douglas for partnering with us in the battle against oral cancer."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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