Lifestyle plays an important role in the prevention of certain cancers. Professor Armando Santoro, director of Humanitas Cancer Center, spoke about this issue in an interview with Radio 24.

Prevention depends on correct information, but as Prof. Santoro pointed out: “We need to be more convincing, although there is correct information, the feeling is that the message does not come loud and clear. Suffice it to say that smoking seems to be on the increase in young people or that we are seeing an increase in obese or overweight patients.

Lifestyle improves not only long-term prospects but also quality of life, which means getting older in better general conditions. It is also important to emphasize that a healthy lifestyle prevents not only some cancers, but many other diseases, such as cardiorespiratory and metabolic disorders”.


The importance of early diagnosis

The latest AIRTUM (Italian Association of Cancer Registers) and AIOM (Italian Association of Medical Oncology) report showed that there were 369,000 new cases of cancer in Italy in 2017. Thanks to increasingly effective and targeted therapies and prevention campaigns, however, the number of people surviving after the discovery of the disease has increased by 24% in 7 years.

“The increase in cancer is associated with an increase in the average age of the population: cancer is in fact a more frequent disease in the elderly and Italy is among the most long-lived countries in the world.

Cured or long-term survivors are also on the increase, more than 3 million people have had an episode of cancer and a third of them have been cured. The cure is affected not only by new drugs, but also by early diagnosis and adherence to screening campaigns, with tests such as colonoscopy, fecal occult blood (colorectal cancer), mammography (breast cancer), and pap tests (cervical cancer). This has led to a sharp increase in the number of cases of cancer diagnosed in the initial form.


Other topics covered

Professor Santoro also stressed how we have made important progress in therapy, which is increasingly personalized, explained the progress in knowledge of the DNA of tumors and what this means in the therapeutic field, spoke of hormone therapy and immunotherapy and the damage of pollution and asbestos and the territorial imbalances in access to treatment.


Watch the full interview: