World Cancer Day

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World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on 4th of the February month as an initiative under which the whole world can unite together to fight against the global epidemic disease CANCER.

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World Cancer Day is an initiative taken by the U.S. Union for the International Cancer Control (UICC) in 2005 with an aim to save millions of preventable deaths each year by educating and raising awareness about cancer.

Several types of research suggest that one-third of the cancer deaths can be avoided by its prevention, and another third can be avoided early detection and treatment.

Despite having proven interventions for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care, these medicines, services, and technologies are not widely available in low- and middle-income countries such as India and Kenya.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.

Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. Source 

Why is World Cancer Day Important?

World Cancer Day is important because the disease can be avoided by increasing government funding and support for the prevention, detection and treatment programmes related to the disease.

The day helps in raising awareness about cancer and to develop practical or effective strategies to address the disease.

UICC played an important role in securing the World Health Organization’s target of a 25% decline in premature deaths from these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a generic term (also known as malignant tumors and neoplasms) used for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body.

There is a defining feature of cancer like a rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow rapidly, that can invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs of the body.

Types of Cancer:

There are several types of cancer including;

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Basal cell cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma cancer
  • Lymphoma cancer
  • Leukemia cancer

Causes of Cancer:

Cancer arises from the transformation of normal cells into the tumor cells in a multistage process that generally progresses from a pre-cancerous lesion to a malignant tumor.

The causes can also be defined as a mutation in DNA within cells. This arises several errors in the instructions that can cause the cell to stop doing normal function and allow a cell to become cancerous.

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Signs and Symptoms of Cancer:

There are several signs and symptoms caused by cancer including;

  • Fatigue
  • Lump or area of thickening that can be felt under the skin
  • Weight changes
  • Skin changes like yellowing, darkening or redness of the skin.
  • Changes in bladder or bowel habits
  • A persistent cough or trouble in breathing
  • Difficulty while swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent pain or discomfort after eating
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fevers or night sweats
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising

Risk Factors Associated With Cancer:

There are several risk factors that are responsible for causing cancer including;

  • Person’s age
  • Person’s habits
  • His/her family history
  • Person’s health conditions
  • Environment

Treatments for Cancer:

Cancer can be treated with chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy (like immunotherapy such as monoclonal antibody therapy) and synthetic lethality.

Prevention of Cancer:

There’s no certain way to prevent the disease cancer. But doctors have recognized several ways of reducing the cancer risk including;

  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoiding excessive sun exposure.
  • Doing regular exercise.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Drinking alcohol in a balance amount.

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