World Cancer Day is celebrated on the 4th of February every year to
increase awareness about cancer and promote research its prevention and cure.
The day was initiated by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
- The World Cancer
Day is celebrated on the 4th of February every year
- The theme for the
World Cancer Day for three consecutive years (2016-2018) is: We Can. I Can
- Individuals as
well as communities can participate in the fight against cancer
. The theme
for the World Cancer Day 2017 (which is the same theme for the three
consecutive years - 2016 to 2018) is We
Can. I Can
. It emphasizes the importance of every individual either singly
or as a group in reducing the burden of cancer in the world.
is still among the most feared diseases. It
appears when the cells of a particular part of the body grow uncontrollably
resulting in growth. The growth can spread either locally or to distant sites
and organs, interfering with their function and finally causing deaths. The number of cancer deaths per year is
likely to increase from 8.2 million in 2012 to 13 million in 2030
percentage of deaths will be more in the low-to-middle countries (70%) as
compared to middle-to-high-income countries (30%). This discrepancy should be overcome and
adequate and latest treatments should be available to people of all economic
‘Conquer cancer before it can conquer you!’
is the most commonly diagnosed cancer
followed by breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and stomach
cancer. Several cancers appear due to exposure to certain factors which can be
easily avoided. These include:
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes and other forms
of tobacco predispose to several forms of cancer. Cigarette smoke contains
at least 69 known carcinogens. The
association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer is well established.
Other cancers that can arise due to cigarette smoking include lung,
esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, blood, pancreas,
stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum. In addition, smoking causes other
lung and heart diseases. Smoking is not a necessity - the habit often
arises due to peer pressure, but is not easy to give up due to its addictive
property. Therefore, it is best not to start smoking. However, if you are
already smoking, contact your health care provider who can counsel you and
offer ways and means to stop smoking. Quitting smoking also reduces cancer
- Alcohol Intake: High alcohol intake can increase the
risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, food pipe, larynx (voice box), liver
and breast. Therefore, people are advised to limit alcohol intake.
Certain environmental substances can increase the risk of cancer.
Excessive exposure to sunlight especially by white-skinned individuals can
result in skin cancer. You may
not smoke, but if your partner or colleague does, you may also be at risk
for cancer. Some people are exposed to carcinogens at their place of work
like asbestos. Adequate precautions should be adopted by the industries
employing staff to work in such environments
Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in menopausal
women, colon, rectum, endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus),
esophagus, kidney, pancreas, and gallbladder. Steps to prevent
obesity like increasing physical activity and reducing unhealthy diets are
beneficial in preventing cancer.
newly diagnosed cancer cases are likely to rise from 14.7 million per year in
2012 to 21 million per year by 2030
Certain viral infections can cause cancer. For example, infection with the
human papillomavirus can predispose to cervical cancer in women. Hepatitis B and C can predispose to liver
cancer. Vaccines when available can be used to prevent the infections and
therefore prevent the cancer.
. Many cancers can be
cured if diagnosed early. Early diagnosis is possible through screening tests,
which are available for several cancers e.g. Pap smear for cervical cancer
, mammography for breast
cancer and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer.
If you already suffer
from cancer, don't let the cancer determine the course of your life, make
sure that you determine the course of cancer and your life. Get back to work as
soon as you can. If your colleague suffers from cancer, provide a support
system at your work place so that they can get back to their routine life.
Get involved in
the mission against cancer, even if you do not suffer
from it or know anyone who suffers from it. Take on to social media to increase
others awareness of cancer. You could be a part of a group of people taking
measures to provide access to cancer treatment to needy patients. Along with
other volunteers, you could visit your local administration and volunteer to
increase awareness about cancer in your community.
cancer can affect anybody. However, the risk can be reduced to a large extent
by following a healthy lifestyle with healthy food,
enough physical activity, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake
- Cancer - (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/)
- Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting - (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet)