Nearly half of cancer cases could be prevented if people change their lifestyle and reduce their environmental exposure to cancer-causing agents including smoking, unhealthy food habit, obesity, radiation and others, experts said during a session.

Addressing the session, Dr Nawazish Ali from the Cancer Treatment Centre of America delivered a lecture on cancer screening and prevention at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. He added that smoking, Niswar, gutka and Paan Spari increase the risk factor of cancer up to 90 percent which is the second leading cause of deaths. The lifetime risk of developing cancer is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women, he said.

He added that 78 percent of cancer cases are diagnosed in people of or more than 55 years of age. He said that intrinsic risk factors contribute only modestly (less than 30% of lifetime risk) to cancer development.

Talking about breast cancer, he said, it is increasing in women and it is the leading life taking cancer for women. Talking about the risk factor for breast cancer, he said that exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the body; radiation therapy to the breast or chest; obesity cause risk increase.

Talking about the screening, he stressed a need for screening for the cancer in order to prevent oneself from the chronic disease. He said that screening can diagnose it at early stage. Talking about the lung cancer facts, he said that it is the one of the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women with 157,300 deaths per year (about 84%) in the United States.

He also said, “if you smoke or are overweight or use a tanning bed, you worsen your odds of getting cancer.” He stressed upon the need to maintain healthy weight and exercise.

Dr Sardar said that Faisalabad is rich in the PhD researches and stressed upon the need to develop a platform of scientists to work on issues of the common man. He also called for setting up a cancer hospital in order to facilitate the patient as the patients are increasing. He said that unhealthy lifestyle is aggravating the issue of cancer in Pakistan. He urged the participants to work at least 30 minutes for their healthy life and avoid the junk food. He said that unavailability of potable water for the common man was increasing the hepatics C cases for which we have to expedite the efforts. He praised the University for kicking off BS programme in Human Nutrition and Dietetics that will provide the trained manpower in the field.

Faculty of Food, Nutrition Home Sciences Dean Dr Masood Sadiq Butt said that healthy food and life style reduces the risk of the many diseases. He called for adopting preventive measures, saying that prevention is better than cure. He suggested mapping out a strategy to educate the masses about the preventative measures to curb the increasing cases of cancer. He said that in women, the breast cancer was increasing with the alarming rate.

ORIC Director Dr Asif Ali said efforts were being made to educate the masses about the cancer. He said that education is the training of mindset. He said that in all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and may spread into surrounding tissues.

Renowned Cardiologist Dr Naeem Aslam urged the participants to the exercise the daily feature of their life. He said that the unhealthy lifestyle and smoking was raising the number of heart disease patients.