Prevention now; an update on our Lifestyle & Cancer Symposium 2021

Prevention Now

The latest “Lifestyle and Cancer” symposium took place on November 19 2021 and it was an intense day full of knowledge about what science has to say about factors which promote cancer. There is an immense amount of evidence regarding the influences that lifestyle has on cancer.

Different topics were mentioned and discussed, such as:

  • fasting, with promising results both in prevention and during treatment
  • alcohol consumption (specifically the ethanol in alcoholic beverages)
  • physical activity and its importance in prevention, during treatment and in periods of remission
  • myths and facts related to the anti-cancer diet
  • the importance of rest and good sleep and the plant-based diet as a protective factor against cancer

A whole whirlwind of information of the highest scientific quality and validity, accompanied by a beautiful panel discussion during which the experts gave their opinion based on their different backgrounds and points of view. All the panellists agreed, however, that more needs to be done to make cancer prevention more effective and this was reflected in the active chat thread of the online participants.

Public policies to promote healthier lifestyles, both in the Netherlands and the rest of the world, are generally weak for different reasons. Prevention does not generate money for the established market. On the contrary, many companies unfortunately make a living from the disease of others. The quality of food, for example, is poor even in rich countries which has serious repercussions on health. To regulate this, a force is needed between food quality control and education via reliable and easy-to-understand information about healthy lifestyles available to the population.

Everyone wins with prevention, except those few who must be kept at bay. We need our populations to eat better, get more rest, exercise, breathe clean air and control stress to reduce cancer-promoting risk factors and this means starting with the prevention of disease before treating it as well as we can.

A written document summarizing all the information presented during the symposium is currently under preparation. By the end of January 2022, Inspire2Live aims to make the first educational material available to the public. Likewise, work is also being carried out on prevention continuity and promulgation as featured in the Inspire2Live lobby agenda.

This lifestyle and cancer symposium was initiated based on our focus on cancer prevention and quality of life and here’s to many more!

María Chacón
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live