Cancer is the first cause of death in Puerto Rico. In 2014, an average of 14,000 cases were reported in men and women causing the death to 5,000 patients. Prostate and breast cancer are the most common types of cancer in Puerto Rico. According to Dr. Luis Clavell Rodríguez, Pediatric Oncologist Hematologist, in many cases cancer can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and medical exams routine.

“There are some national guidelines in Puerto Rico about cancer prevention that, if implemented, can reduce the impact of this disease between 40% and 50%” – Dr. Luis Clavell Rodríguez.

We want to point there are crucial factors that increase the risk of cancer, such as:

  • Drink excess of alcohol
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Infections such as Human Papilloma Virus, Hepatitis B or C
  • Family history

Also, each of these scenarios represents a preventable situation:

  • Refrain from drinking excess alcoholic beverages or smoking
  • Vaccination
  • Being under treatment for Hepatitis C
  • Maintain a good exercise routine
  • Healthy diet
  • Early detection tests

It is very important to recognize that detection is not prevention.  According to Dr. Clavell, prevention is maintaining a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of developing cancer.  There are over 100 types of this disease, so the best is preventing to avoid it!

Routine tests are used to detect cancer early and to make a difference between surviving or realizing it too late.  Among the most common are:

  • PAP test
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Mammography
  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • Bone scan
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy

It is very common to think that cancer will never happened to you, so you should always be prepared.  To learn more about this disease and why you should need cancer insurance, watch the full interview here