In Mexico, 7 out 10 adults are overweight, and this condition is one of the leading risk factors for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer – the most common types of cancer that Mexican suffer, according to Jorge Luis Martínez, a doctor at the Oncology department of Mexico’s National Institute of Cancer (INCAN).
Dr. Martínez claims that if Mexicans had healthier diets, did more exercise, and avoided alcohol and tobacco, 40% of malignant tumors wouldn’t exist.
Each year, there are 190,000 new cancer cases in Mexico. In 2015, 85,201 people died of this disease, the third leading cause of death in our country, after diabetes mellitus and heart diseases.
Twenty years ago, patients sought medical attention in the last stages of cancer or once their tumors had metastasized. Despite the progress in cancer prevention since then, there still is work to do to reinforce prevention and encourage people to get medical attention when their tumors measure two centimeters or less.
Dr. Martínez says that the increase in new cancer cases regardless of the type – such as prostate cancer – are not cause for alarm since this means prevention campaigns are working and people are less reticent to self-exam themselves and got to a doctor if they find something unusual.
“These strategies have been accurate because they’re encouraging men and women to go to their clinic, to take a couple of minutes to perform a self-exam and check for any anomaly they feel in their armpits, skin, breasts, testicles, and genitals. This gives us a better chance at curing them,” the doctor explained.
To get access to early diagnosis, Dr. Martínez asks Mexican society to discard myths and learn, to “understand cancer is not a synonym of death because this is the main reason why people don’t go to the doctor; they’re afraid of being told they have a malignant tumor.”
Nowadays there are innovative treatments such as immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, and improvement on radiotherapy and chemotherapy that cure malignant tumors in, at least, 80% of cases.
Yet the doctor emphasizes prevention is the best strategy and that Mexicans need to improve their overall health to reduce the risk of having cancer.
“If we do not change our habits, by 2030 malignant tumors could be the leading cause of cancer and death [in Mexico]. We’re still on time to do something about it.”
Source: El Universal