What steps do you take to prevent cancer?

Millions of people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer every day. World Cancer Day on February 4 raises awareness about the terrible impacts of the disease and advocates further work to be done in the area of prevention and treatment. Vientiane Times asked some young people what they do to ward off cancer.


Ms Amphavanh Heenthongphet, a student at the National University of Laos:  Everyone can take care of their body by drinking lots of water and eating lots of fruit and vegetables. I exercise before dinner each evening and make sure I don’t eat too much salty food. I eat food that is high in calcium so that my bones will be strong and I have a medical check-up every year. I live healthily and rarely get sick. 

Mr Souphaluk Saengaloun, a vendor in Champassak province:  I think we all need to eat more organic food from local sources rather than processed and packaged food bought at a supermarket. The chemicals and preservatives in some products could lead to long lasting, nasty health problems.  I don’t drink much alcohol and I sweat while I’m working just as I would if I went to a gym.  Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest I think are the keys to a healthy life.

Ms Dalavone Sihalath, a vendor in Vientiane: Eating clean and healthy food is what I do to stay well. I know some people who work hard and say they don’t have time to take care of their health. They drink lots of soft drinks and fruit juice and eat lots of oily and fatty food. I tell them that they have to keep the inside of their bodies in good shape if they don’t want to get cancer. My theory is that gastric cancer develops when people eat too much chilli, salt and oil and would like to say they should be careful how much they eat.

Mr Khammoun Inphayyalath, a student at the National University of Laos: I usually eat from the five food groups every day and exercise regularly. I also try to limit use of my mobile phone and go to bed at a reasonable time.  Especially for people who work in an air conditioned office, it is really important to take every opportunity to go outside for a walk and get some fresh air. Relaxing somewhere in nature and not worrying about work is one way to avoid getting cancer in my opinion. People need to stop stressing so much.  Life is short enough as it is.

Ms Xaykham Chanthavong, a student at the National University of Laos: A lot of women have irregular and painful periods which I’ve heard can be a cause of cervical cancer. They should see their doctor if they have an ongoing problem in this area. My periods used to debilitate me with pain but since I changed my diet and lifestyle things have improved greatly. I now regularly eat green vegetables and make sure I go to bed early. I don’t drink much alcohol and I exercise. I feel much better for it.  Now, by drinking lots of warm water, my periods hardly bother me. One other thing, married women should get advice from a trained medical practitioner about vaginal infections as this can be a precursor of cervical cancer.

By Phouthong Sivongsa
(Latest Update February 6, 2019)

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