4th February is marked as World Cancer Day. World Cancer day targets the awareness, prevention, and treatment of cancer, led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The day’s primary goal is to show support to cancer-victims, survivors and reduce stigma.
2021 marks the end of the “I am and I will” initiative to counter false information and counter negative attitudes towards the victim. The campaign’s goal is to debunk the myth that nothing can be done about cancer. The initiative explores how personal growth, individual actions can collectively impact the fatalistic belief.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which uncontrollable cell growth becomes fatal. It has the potential to grow and invade other parts of the body. Cancer is also known as a malignant tumor.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world, next to cardiovascular diseases. Globally speaking, one in every six deaths is caused by cancer. According to WHO, cancer was responsible for a whopping 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
In India, the estimated number of cases by 2025 is 15.7 lakhs being more prevalent in women. India witnessed 784,800 cancer deaths in 2018 and 1.16 million new cancer cases.
According to WHO, some of the cancers are the most common. Lung cancer, Breast cancer, Colorectal cancer, Prostate cancer, Skin cancer, and Stomach cancer tops the list.
Lung cancer, Colorectal cancer, Stomach cancer, Liver cancer, and Breast cancer are the most fatal and cause the maximum number of deaths.
Causes of Cancer
Cancer can be a genetic problem, but various external factors can lead to malignant tumors’ development. Consumption of tobacco leads to approximately 22% percent of cancer deaths.
External factors such as ionizing radiation, carcinogenic foods, biological carcinogens, electromagnetic fields, and high BMI are responsible for most cancer cases.
In low and middle-income countries, hepatitis and human papillomavirus (HPV)– cancer-causing infections are responsible for 25% of the cancer cases.
Avoiding risk-based factors can bring down the cancer cases by 30-50%. Key risk factors such as consumption of carcinogenic food (red meat, processed food, alcohol, etc.), tobacco, obesity, alcohol, and unhealthy diets can be avoided and can bring down many cancer cases caused by external factors. Vaccination against HPV and hepatitis B virus is an equally important factor in fighting cancer. Avoiding occupational hazards, exposure to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation is easy and can significantly change the world’s cancer scenario.
Some of the cancers can be prevented by vaccination. Cervical cancer is one of them. Vaccination of cervical cancer is readily available across India. Hematology BMT Institute International vaccinates women against the cancer of the cervix.
Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
Early detection and treatment can save lives. PAP smears for cervical cancer, mammography for breast cancer are some of the screenings done once a year to know any abnormal developments.
Dr. S.K Gupta, the founder of Hematology BMT Institute International, says “Cancer is a word, not a sentence. You can be a victim of cancer or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.” He believes that timely diagnosis can save hundreds of lives from cancer. In his 15 years of experience, he witnessed several cases where early diagnosis could decrease cancer chances.
In 2021, Hematology BMT Institute International aims to achieve #FitIndia2021. A year to concentrate on oneself, reflect on our health and lifestyle. With #FitIndia2021, Hematology BMT Institute International promotes the prevention of diseases, identification through timely diagnosis and regular tests. #FitIndia2021 embarks the beginning of a healthy and safe lifestyle for everyone.