by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  February 2, 2011 at 5:33 PM Health In Focus
World Cancer Day 2011
World Cancer Day, celebrated on the 4th of February each year is a day when the world projects its concerted effort to fight cancer.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death world wide.

According to WHO estimates, around 84 million people are likely to die of cancer   between 2005-2015 if they are denied treatment for the disease.

The poor and the developing countries are more burdened by cancer than the developed countries and, therefore, it is important to address this ever-increasing burden.

World Cancer Day- Beginning

World Cancer day began as a part of the World Cancer Campaign, which is in response to the Charter of Paris that was adopted for the New Millennium at the World Summit Against Cancer on February 4, 2000.

The charter called for a concerted effort between governments, scientists, health-care professionals, patients, pharma industries and the media to fight cancer.

What happens?

Each year on 4 February, the UN's health authority, WHO, supports  a united  effort  to ease the global  cancer  burden by promoting ways to   spread awareness on early detection, treatment, risk reduction and prevention of  cancer. A lot of effort is taken to  improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

On this day WHO, along with International Union against Cancer, world  governments, NGOs, business people, health care professionals and  celebrities  participate in  discussions  on cancer  to increase awareness among the general public  on matters related to the disease.

Nation wide campaigns are held and fund-raising events are organized to inform the general public on  risk reduction in cancer.

2011 - Motto & Significance

The motto for the year 2011 is "Teaching Children and Teenagers to limit their sun exposure by being SunSmart!"

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Skin cancers are largely brought on by overexposure to the sun's harmful UV rays. It can also be brought on by sun lamps and sun parlors.

The sun burn that a person acquires can take more than two decades to transform into a malignanacy.

Skin cancers are more prevalent than before, what with increasing number of people, particularly the young, taking to sun tanning and sun- bathing to get a tanned look, which is in vogue.

Skin cancer is largely preventable and there is a need to advise those at risks, to avoid excessive exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.

This year the World Cancer Day is even more significant as the UN Summit on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is taking place this year.

World Cancer Declaration

The World Cancer Declaration focuses on bringing the attention of world leaders and health policymakers to the growing cancer crisis  and reduce  the  burden globally  by 2020.

The targets by 2020 include-

• Reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption globally

• Reducing obesity

• Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination programmes all over the world for and to prevent liver and cervical cancer

• Reducing emigration of health care providers with special cancer training

• Ensuring the global availability of pain medication

• Dispelling misconceptions related to cancer.

Each one of us can sign the World Cancer Declaration and help towards the global cancer cause.

Cancer Prevention - Tips

Almost 30-40% of cancers can potentially be prevented or the risks reduced. Here are a few easy tips -

• Those who fall in the risk groups, such as those who are above a certain age or those with a familial history, must go for periodical screening

• Ensure vaccination against HBV and HPV

• Avoid over exposure to the sun; apply a sunscreen when outdoors and protect yourself with appropriate accessories like a broad -brimmed hat and sunglasses

• Eat plenty of fruits and fresh green vegetables

• Indulge in moderate exercises or go for regular walks

• Monitor your weight -avoid obesity

Learn how to do self-examination for early diagnosis of cancers such as breast and testis.

Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia