Thursday , February 25 2021

World Cancer and Food Day as preventive factor

World Cancer Day, an initiative of the International Union for the Control of Cancer (UICC), is celebrated on February 4, as it is the second leading cause of death in the world, as in our country (26.13%). population). The commemoration of this day seeks to raise awareness and educate about cancer in order to act against this disease, such as timely access to care and treatment, self-care, preventive tests for early detection, among others. This year's motto is "I am and I will," in order for everyone to believe – from their roles and intervention spaces – their own publication with a personal message of commitment, using this slogan and sharing it on social networks as a sign of support.

Cancer is a disease characterized by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the body forming a tumor, and if left untreated, it can grow and spread to other parts of the body and affect its functioning. This disease is caused by several factors, such as sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excess malnutrition (overweight or obesity), poor eating habits characterized by high alcohol consumption, high red meat intake, processed meats and low consumption of fruits and vegetables. ; to mention some causes related to our lifestyle. Within the policies of our country are the Explicit Health Guarantees (GES) that cover the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of various types of cancer and Law 20,850 for neuroendocrine tumors, but do not cover all of them, generating needs around strategies and preventive health policies. In December 2018, President Piñera and the Minister of Health presented the National Cancer Plan, which aims to advise policy development, strategy implementation, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care of the disease. In our country, the main cause of cancer mortality is stomach cancer, in men the same cause; while in women it is due to breast cancer.

Healthy foods and lifestyles are key to preventing cancer. Within the components of a healthy diet is to eat at least 3 times vegetables and 2 times a day fruits of different colors, 3 servings of dairy products daily, vegetables at least twice a week, as well as fish, prefer whole grains in adequate amounts and take 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. In addition, limit the consumption of junk food (high calorie, fat, starch, sodium and sugar), processed and red meats, sugary drinks and alcohol. On the other hand, maintain adequate weight and exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. The increase in body fat is a causal factor of several types of cancer, including: mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colorectal, liver, gallbladder, breast, ovary, prostate and kidney.

A diet with an adequate intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains is associated with a protective effect on the onset of cancer, specifically highlighting dietary fiber, associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, as well as being overweight and obese.

It is important to clarify that limiting the intake of red meat does not mean that it should not be consumed, it is more, it is recommended once a week, especially for its contribution in iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Only its excessive consumption was related to colorectal cancer.

In turn, consumption of dairy products is considered a protective factor for the development of colorectal cancer, as well as coffee for the liver and endometrial cancer. On the contrary, alcohol consumption is associated with cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, liver, colorectal and breast.

If we all come together and commit to incorporating a healthy diet and lifestyles, we can bring about change, as these not only help prevent the onset of cancer but also other diseases. "I am a health professional and I will encourage a healthy diet."

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