A Prevention-Based Society

by | Oct 23, 2018 | Cancer prevention, Health, legislation

Breast health ‘awareness’ seems to be the key word in October, but what good is awareness without a guide good health. Prevention AND awareness seem like a better strategy, but how would we promote the idea of preventative health? The effects of cancer on individuals, families and even communities can be so devastating that we need to ask: what would a ‘prevention-based’ society look like?

The word ‘Prevention’ is important because we reject the idea that you can treat cancer like you may treat a wart or an abscess. Targeting lumps or bumps in the body with drugs, surgery and radiation without a thought about what causes them is counter-intuitive and somewhat irresponsible. ‘Curing’ cancer with drugs seems like a ridiculous idea unless you’re of the symptomatic-medicine school of thought, but we say “prevention is the cure” because we consider cancer as a symptom of something else that’s wrong with the body, and treating that is where the cure lies.

So what does a ‘prevention-based’ society’ look like? It would have to be a joint effort involving all facets of society. Every institution needs to recognise and embrace the role that they play in improving health. We know that the choices that people make in their lives about what they eat, and how active they are is often influenced by what they are exposed to in their place of work, in schools and universities. Both of these aspects, healthy food and physical activity, can be emphasised by employers and teachers, ultimately rubbing off on people’s attitudes.

We may well ask how we ensure there is collaboration within our work places and public institutions – and the answer could be a little more tricky than merely pointing out what prevention looks like. This is a political question – do we legislate for enforced healthy living? Do we tell people that we know what’s best for them, and that they must comply?

You wont find the answers to those questions here, but whether it’s the media or the medical community, government, industry or academia – we will all need to contribute if we want a healthier society and ultimately a world where cancer is considered to be preventable illness.

References: Huffington Post