WORCESTER, Mass. - Friday is World Cancer Day. It’s a day to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. 

Dr. Daniyal Siddiqui, Medical Director of the Saint Vincent Cancer and Wellness Center, said prevention is the best policy with cancer. Dr. Siddiqui said while cancer is genetic, it’s not always hereditary and almost two-thirds of cases are from environmental factors.

Dr. Siddiqui said there are easy steps you can take to lower your risk of developing cancer, including avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, protecting your skin from the sun and living a healthy lifestyle.

“Healthy diet is so important when it comes to developing diseases especially cancer,” Dr. Siddiqui said. “We now know obesity and physical inactivity is linked to almost every cancer. Being physically active, eating a healthy diet and not being overweight is not good only for a dozen other things, hypertension, diabetes but also helps prevent development of cancer.”

Dr. Siddiqui is also urging people to get their routine cancer screenings. During this pandemic, many people have put them off, which he says unfortunately has led to the discovery of cancer in advanced stages.​