ILOILO City – Leading a healthy lifestyle lowers the risk of getting cancer, according to the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas.
“Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol beverages and illegal drugs,” said DOH Region 6 senior health program officer John Richard Lapascua.
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Western Visayas next to hypertensive cardiovascular diseases and pneumonia, said Lapascua.
Early this month, DOH-6 led the Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week observance from April 7 to 14.
Lapascua said there were “minimal cases” of neck and head cancer in the region “because it can be detected early and therefore treated early.”
Head and neck cancers are cancers that collectively affects in squamous cells or mucosal surfaces in the head and neck (inside the mouth, nose and throat). These include cancers occurring in oral cavity, pharynx (throat), larynx (voicebox) and nasal cavity.
Triggers of head and neck cancer are tobacco and alcohol use, human papillomavirus infection and low immune system resistance, preserved or salted food (nasopharyngeal cancer), poor oral health, occupational exposure (example wood dust), and radiation exposure.
Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer include lump in the neck, change in voice, a growth in the mouth, coughing of blood, swallowing problems (painful and narrowing), changes in membranes or skin, and persistent earache.
“We won’t tire saying over and over again that the best way to avoid cancer is healthy lifestyle gid,” said Lapascua
He added: “Magpakonsulta gid kon may ginabtayag nga indi usual. Exercise and diet.”/PN