Throughout our lives, we take great care of the things we love. We nurture our children, we maintain our prized vehicles and we look after our elderly family members in their final years. Caring for the things we love will extend their life, giving us many more years of joy, but what about looking after our own health and well-being? We all know the importance of looking after our bodies, we watch what we eat, we do regular exercise, and we invest in our wellbeing, but we are often neglecting some of our most important assets, our head and neck.
In the Philippines each year, more than 12000 people receive a cancer diagnosis that relates specifically to the head and neck region of the body. This equates to more than 5% of all cancer diagnoses, ranking third next to breast and lung cancer. Head and neck cancers are those specific to the aerodigestive tract, and include the oral cavity (mouth), pharynx, larynx, nasal cavity, sinuses and the salivary glands. To raise public awareness of such an alarming rate of incidences, the last week in April each year is Head and Neck Consciousness Week.
So what can you do to decrease your risk of developing cancer is these regions of the body? Surprisingly, there are some simple measures that you can take to help avoid head or neck cancer. Studies indicate that there is a link between smoking, drinking and the risk of developing head and neck cancer, with those who excessively smoke tobacco, chew betel nut, or drink alcohol putting themselves at a much higher risk. Even second-hand smoking puts you at increased risk of these devastating cancers. Other risk factors include poor oral hygiene, workplace hazards (including exposure to pesticides and chemicals), and excessive consumption of salty, processed foods. Some of the symptoms of head and neck cancer include persistent mouth sores, gum bleeding and mouth pain, blocked sinuses, earache, a drastic change in your voice, lumps in the neck, and trouble breathing, speaking and swallowing. For those who have concerns about symptoms, or think that they are in the high risk category, talking to your doctor and booking an annual physical and dental consultation is highly recommended.
Another option for those who want to take charge of their health is to do a DNA test to determine your proclivity to developing head and neck cancer. EasyDNA Philippines offers the Genetic Predisposition Health Test, which will establish:
- Your genetic predisposition to developing one of 34 diseases and conditions
- Whether you are at risk for developing a particular disease, and
- Your estimated lifetime risk compared to the average population.
Certain parts of your DNA are associated with the development of particular diseases, and this screening test analyses your unique genetic makeup to determine your predisposition to a range of preventable and treatable diseases and conditions. You can do this test from the comfort of your lounge room, with EasyDNA Philippines providing an at-home testing kit that includes all the equipment and full instructions for you to test yourself using a simple, painless oral swab. Results will be returned to you in a timely manner, and you will receive comprehensive results that will help you on your journey to preventing head and neck cancer.
There is no better time to get your head in the game, by ordering a DNA test, and taking some simple measures to protect your health.