The Internet age has revolutionized the way we find and share information. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information online is so overwhelming it is nearly impossible to sift through it all and determine what is real and what isn’t. This holds especially true when it comes to information about cancer, whether regarding causes, treatment, or prevention. No one knows for sure what is good information and advice, but there are a few ways to ensure the information you get about cancer is as useful and accurate as possible.
Talk to Your Doctor
Medical doctors disagree on many aspects of cancer treatment and prevention but their professional knowledge and experience is still the most valuable source of information for the general public. It is, after all, the job of physicians to stay up to date on the latest cancer information regarding studies, treatments, causes, prevention, and drugs. If you have done your own research, your doctor can add valuable insight into your findings. The doctors may not be right in every case, but their opinions are based on both knowledge and experience.
One of the most promising areas of cancer research is in genetics. Scientists have identified individual genes responsible for many forms of cancer and can rather accurately predict one’s chances of developing cancer. By know your family history, you can be aware of the cancers you might be most likely to get and can be tested regularly to catch them in the early curable stages. This is perhaps one of the current best forms of prevention.
Lifestyle plays a much larger role in cancer than previously known. Diet and exercise can significantly reduce your chances of getting many forms of cancer. Keep your weight under control, stay active, eat a variety of organic vegetables and fruits, avoid processed foods with preservatives and other chemicals, don’t smoke, and consume alcohol moderately. This can’t guarantee you won’t get cancer, but it’s the best thing you can do to minimize your chances.
Screenings and Checkups
Follow your doctor’s advice regarding routine checkups and screenings. Use family history to better target the screenings most relevant to you and try to ensure you catch cancer early in its treatable phase. With modern medicine, almost all cancers are treatable if they are caught while still localized. The best way of doing this is with yearly checkups and screenings for the most common forms of cancer.
Don’t Go For the Hype
Every day we hear the media talk about new scares. They do this because they know it will get your attention. Unfortunately, they don’t always present the information in a truthful, useful manner. Don’t let the talking heads raise your anxiety level. If you hear something on the news, research it online on reputable sites before considering it to be true.
As far as science has come in detecting and treating cancer and understanding the causes, we are still many years away from being cancer free. Even though we may eventually find out that many of the things we currently do to try to prevent cancer are useless, we’ll likely also find that many are very effective. Therefore, continue to take the advice of doctors and scientists to reduce your chances of getting cancer. The science isn’t perfect but it’s improving every day. Stay aware of new information and live a healthy lifestyle.