Cancer case in the family: relatives want to do more for their health
The Diagnosis cancer is one of the most frightening for those affected. However, the disease not only affects the patients themselves, but also their personal environment. A new study has shown that people who have cancer in the family are more motivated to live healthier lives.
Many cancers are preventable
According to health experts More and more people are getting cancer , In Germany alone, around half a million new cases are registered each year. According to experts, a large proportion of all cancers are considered preventable. Through a healthy lifestyle the cancer risk can be significantly reduced , And that’s exactly what family members of cancer patients seem to be particularly ready, as a recent study shows.
Adequate exercise, healthy eating and abstinence from tobacco and alcohol are some measures to reduce your personal cancer risk. According to a recent study, cancer patients are particularly motivated to live healthier lives. (Image: oneinchpunch / fotolia.com)
If its about Measures for cancer prevention goes, above all the fight against smoking is called.
Another way to Reduction of personal cancer risk is to limit alcohol consumption.
Because alcohol can, according to scientific findings seven different variants of cancer trigger.
Furthermore, it is recommended to pay attention to a healthy diet, to certain Meat products like cured sausage to renounce and overweight to avoid. The latter increases according to a study the Risks in eleven cancer diseases ,
Also a Active exercise can prevent cancer ,
However, although many people are aware that they could prevent disease through a healthier lifestyle, many can not motivate. Relatives of cancer patients, this seems a bit easier.
Certain events make you think about your own health
Many cancers – as well as other chronic diseases – are the result of an unhealthy lifestyle and thus preventable. But breaking out of a routine for years and changing your behavior over the long term is an enormous challenge, it is said Message of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS.
A willingness to change is often only when certain events occur that stimulate thinking about one’s own health.
Also, the occurrence of cancer in the family could represent such an event – and thus be used for cancer prevention.
This is what the results of a trade journal ” British Journal of Cancer “Published study conducted under the direction of Ulrike Haug, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Bremen and Head of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at BIPS.
Relatives of cancer patients
“Relatives of cancer patients were particularly motivated to quit smoking, do more exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables and drink less alcohol – especially those who were aware of their increased cancer risk,” said Ulrike Haug.
“There is great potential for prevention counseling, which can be used by doctors, for example, to help these people achieve a healthier lifestyle. Especially with close relatives of cancer patients, cancer prevention is particularly important because, among other things due to genetic factors, their risk is increased, even on cancer to get sick. ”
Information about the personal lifestyle
The study interviewed about 1,000 people from Germany online, including 700 people with one or more first-degree relatives (children, siblings, parents) who have cancer, and – as controls – 300 people without such diseases in the close family environment.
The cancers included in the study were colon, lung, prostate, breast, stomach, uterine and cervix.
Among other things, information was sought on personal lifestyle (smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption, consumption of meat and fruit).
In addition, participants should use a multi-level scale to indicate how they assess their own cancer risk and describe their willingness to make a difference to each lifestyle factor.
Higher willingness to change the lifestyle
“The evaluation revealed significant differences in the perception of one’s own cancer risk between the two groups,” says Ulrike Haug.
For example, only four percent of respondents without close-relationship cancer assessed their cancer risk as elevated, compared with 22 percent of those with cancer in the family.
In addition, the risk assessment differed significantly depending on the type of cancer. So went colon cancer in the family 18 percent and in gastric cancer even 30 percent of respondents from an increased own risk.
Persons with an increased risk perception also showed a significantly higher willingness to change certain lifestyle factors. For example, 64 percent of high-risk smokers surveyed were willing to give up smoking, compared to 46 percent of smokers who rated their risk of cancer as low.
Similar conditions were shown in the motivation to do more sports (65 vs. 50 percent), eat more fruits and vegetables (77 vs. 56 percent) and consume less alcohol (44 vs. 26 percent).
The basis of successful cancer prevention is risk perception
The conclusion of Ulrike Haug is clear: “The potential to effectively implement measures for the prevention of cancer among relatives of cancer patients, should be exhausted and further explored.”
And further: “The basis of effective and successful cancer prevention is risk perception. It is the germ cell for the willingness to actually want to change something in one’s own risk behavior. Both are much more prevalent in people with close relatives who suffer from cancer than in people who have been spared this fate so far, “says the expert.
“In view of the fact that those affected also have a real increased risk of cancer from a medical point of view, in addition to general offers, prevention programs should be developed specifically for and matched to this group. Because those affected – as our study shows – are absolutely open to it. “(Ad)