Stages of Prevention: Preventive Oncology

Stages of Prevention: Preventive Oncology

18 December 2021
Posted By Dr. Aditi Aggarwal
radiation oncology in gurgaon

Prevention of cancer is an action taken to lower the exact risk of getting this cancer. It can also include the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the exposure to known cancer-causing substances, & taking certain vaccines & medicines, which can also prevent cancer from developing.

Details about preventive oncology:

This is the interdisciplinary branch of medical science that usually aims to prevent cancer & the development of it or the progression through effective measures like lifestyle modifications & ignoring some specific risk factors. It is all done through some specialized techniques in place. First, lets check about some risk factors which are the leading cause of all kinds of cancers. You should be warned about these risks so that you do not develop the same disease.

Some significant risk factors which cause cancer:

Some typical causes which have also been known to enhance the risk of getting any cancer are:

  • Tobacco consumption & smoking
  • Taking excessive alcohol
  • Sedentary lifestyle without any exercise
  • High fat, and the red meat diet without any vegetables and fruits
  • Any excessive obesity
  • Unprotected sex is associated with a spread of HPV that can cause certain cancers in women & men
  • Exposure to radiation- From X-rays and sunlight, nuclear medicine scans, CT Scans, etc.
  • Some environmental factors like air pollution from certain fuels & vehicles, drinking water contaminated with specific chemicals, & second-home tobacco smoke

By keeping all these types of risk factors at bay, you can also prevent cancer to a great extent.

Prevention process of cancer:

Cancer is not a single disease but a group of some related conditions. That is why various types of cancers & multiple causes can enhance or decrease the chances of getting this dreaded disease.

Primary prevention:

This is the stage before the onset of disease, by erasing or avoiding every risk associated with cancer, like smoking & changes in their lifestyle, environment, and diet.


Vaccines are prepared medicines that help you to fight diseases. There are several types of vaccines for various conditions. Similarly, some vaccines can also prevent you from getting cancer. Presently, two specific vaccines can protect you against particular cancers:- Hepatitis B Vaccines against Liver cancer and Human papillomavirus against cervical cancer.

Genetic screening

If you have a family history of cancer of any type genetic screening can also estimate your specific chance of developing cancer. The tests look for specific mutations or changes in your chromosomes, proteins, or genes.These genetic tests can not foretell whether you will get this cancer, but can predict if you are indeed at a higher risk for this specific disease.Accordingly your oncologist can help you perform certain tests.

Secondary Prevention

This particular stage is about discovering the precancerous conditions well before any clinical indications or symptoms begin to show up. This is also helpful if you have a family history of cancer.


This is a revolutionary cancer-preventive strategy where certain medicines are also administrated to treat this precancerous condition or even keep this cancer from developing.

Risk-decreasing Surgery:

This involves preventing cancer by also surgically removing the organ, which can cause cancer in the future. For example, breast removal mastectomy or surgery prevents this occurrence of breast cancer if there is a family history of cancer found.

Tertiary prevention:

This happens after the specific development of cancer by lessening the exact complications & preventing this reoccurrence.