RONALD DELOS REYES / Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
September 21, 2012
CEBU CITY – “We
are what we eat” is a worn-out cliché. As simple as it may sound, but
it has become difficult for us to make wise decisions concerning our
diet, especially when our days are packed.
One of the health diseases
that our diet could be a contributing factor of is cancer. Cancer is
the third leading cause of death in the country. Often, we equate
cancer with helplessness and death but the truth is, cancer can be
prevented and the first step is to adopt a healthy diet.
Cancer development depends
on family history (genetics), health, nutrition, personal habits, and
the environment. But among these causes, healthy diet tops the list in
cancer prevention. What we take in for everyday nourishment is the
major key to a healthy life.
Nowadays, we mostly eat
fatty food like pork and chicken skin, which can increase risk of
cancer. Our bodies require a certain amount of fat but an excess of it
can be harmful to the body. A high-fat diet tends to be higher in
calories and may increase the risk to become overweight or obese, and
We should eat food that are
rich in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables, for they lower the
risk of developing cancer. Antioxidants act as protective agents of
the cells in the body. Foods rich in Vitamin D and protein also aid in
blocking cancer-causing chemicals.
Cancers that are linked to
certain habits are the easiest ways to prevent, such as those caused
by tobacco or cigarette smoking.
We all know that cigarette
smoking is the leading cause of cancer. A cigarette contains 100
chemicals and most of them are carcinogenic or cancer-causing.
Also, we should be aware of
"secondhand smoke" because there are more carcinogenic chemicals
present upon our inhalation. When our bodies are exposed to these
carcinogens, our body cells are damaged to a certain extent and their
normal function affected.
Alcohol beverages must be
taken in moderation. Our alcohol consumption can significantly expose
us to acquiring several types of cancer – lung, throat, mouth, and liver
In preventing cancer, a
healthy diet and lifestyle should be coupled with early detection of
the disease. Some of the symptoms of cancer do not appear in the early
stage. Regular screenings and checkups enable us to be updated on any
irregularities happening in our bodies. These can help us in detecting
any health diseases at an early stage.
Women should do monthly
breast self-examination (BSE) for early detection of lumps surrounding
the breasts. Women 40 years old and up should undergo annual clinical
breast examination, especially those who have a family history of such
type of cancer.
Childhood cancer, however,
cannot be prevented.
The reality is, as more and
more children are diagnosed and will likely survive with cancer, it is
increasingly important to address ongoing and emerging needs of the
child and their family to achieve complete and long-term healing.
In Metro Cebu, the Eduardo
J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)
offer services for cancer prevention. These include lectures on
cancer-related topics and free screenings and diagnostics for patients
in Cebu. It also provides assistance for treatment of cancer in early
stages and last cycle of chemotherapy treatment, as well as
EJACC also offer services
such as mammography, biopsy, and other tumor markers to help in the
early detection of cancer, surgical assistance for our patients in the
early stages of cancer, and post-operative follow-ups.
Through the Kahayag Network
of Cancer Support Groups, cancer patients and survivors are offered
psychological support, through activities like cooking demos, fitness
programs, and meditation.
The need of patients for
understanding in their struggles they have been through requires the
full attention of the family. Thus, family members should provide an
environment where the patient can express his/her ill-feelings and
A network among cancer
patients and survivors is our way of promoting the idea that even
people afflicted with the disease can live normal and healthy lives.
EJACC urges the public to
fight against the disease through healthy living, early detection, and
other preventive measures.