Health Today Patient Awareness

World Cancer Day – A Fight To Create A Cancer-Free World!

World Cancer Day - A Fight To Create A Cancer-Free World! - PharmEasy
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Cancer has the second-highest death toll in the world. In fact, 1300 Indians lose the battle against cancer every day.

The Union for International Cancer Control observes World Cancer Day on 4th Feb every year so that the general public is aware of the different types of cancers. 

Note that 2020 is also the midpoint of the 3-year “I Am and I Will” campaign, starting from 2019 and culminating in 2021. This campaign focuses on what we as individuals can do to create a cancer-free world.

So, what makes World Cancer Day so important? It is important because if you are armed with the right information, you can take steps at the right time to cut down your risk of cancer. This will help bring down cancer rates in the world. 

This world cancer day, let us learn more about cancer.

Most prevalent cancer types

Do you know which cancers are the most common ones? WHO has identified the following cancers as the most prevalent-

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Stomach cancer 

And the cancers that cause the most number of deaths are-

  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer

Causes of cancer

Do we know what exactly causes cancer? No, doctors are unsure about it. What they do know is that cancer results from a genetic problem. If the DNA in your cell mutates unnaturally, the cell becomes malignant. And when this cell begins to multiply, it creates several more cells that are cancerous. This is how cancer develops and spreads. 

Some people are born with flawed DNA whereas others acquire it in their lifetime. Yet not everyone with a flawed DNA develops cancer.

This made scientists and researchers realize that there are other external factors that trigger cancer such as-

  • Ionizing radiation from radiation therapy, x-rays etc. or the UV rays of the sun
  • Carcinogenic foods
  • Biological carcinogens (infections caused by microbes such as HIV or Hepatitis B)
  • Chemical carcinogens (particles that enter your body such as tobacco smoke, arsenic, asbestos, etc)
    Electromagnetic field
  • Obesity

Can you prevent cancer?

Since certain external factors are responsible for triggering cancer, you can adopt a few measures to minimize your risk of getting cancer. 

Here are a few things you must do to fight cancer –

  • Do you smoke? Quit smoking immediately. And if you are not a smoker, don’t acquire this deadly habit. Tobacco is carcinogenic. Its particles can cause cancers of the mouth, larynx, throat, cervix, kidney and bladder. Don’t chew tobacco. And try to limit your exposure to second-hand smoking.

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  • Don’t drink alcohol or even if you do, then drink in moderation. Alcoholism can cause liver, kidney, breast, colon and lung cancers in both men and women.
  • Lean meat is good for you but red meat is not. The International Agency For Research On Cancer considers all forms of red meat (such as goat, lamb, pigs) as possibly carcinogenic. 
  • Lose weight. Obesity greatly multiplies the risk of different cancers. And this is a problem you can easily deal with. Simply go to the gym or a morning run to lose weight. 
  • Save yourself from the dangerous UV rays. Avoid going out at noon. And shield yourself with sunscreen, umbrellas and hats.
  • Since hepatitis B can give you cancer, get vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Use protective gear if you are exposed to dangerous substances like lead, asbestos etc. 
  • Breast cancer, cervical cancer and skin cancer are preventable because they all have screening tests that can detect the cancers in the early stages.

If you notice any unusual change in or on your body, or if you feel unwell, do not waste time, talk to an expert. Stay healthy and alert to defeat cancer.

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