National Cancer Awareness Day 2019: History and facts about Cancer

National Cancer Awareness Day

When abnormal growth of cells occurred in the body it results in cancer and invades other tissues also. It can affect almost any part of the body. Cancer is also known as malignancy. Do you know that more than 100 types of cancer exist including breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, etc? National Cancer Awareness Day is observed across the country and was announced by the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. According to him, it is the high time we went into combative mode against this disease.

National Cancer Awareness Day: History

National Cancer Awareness Day was first announced by the Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in September 2014. Therefore, the first time it was celebrated in the year 2014. This day focuses on the early detection and cure of cancer.

Let us tell you that, Harsh Vardhan first time launched the state-level movement on cancer control. On this day people were encouraged to report to government hospitals, CGHS and municipal clinics for the free screening. Information booklets were also be circulated to generate awareness on how to avoid getting cancer and to look for signs of early symptoms.

The government of Kerala proposed the “Suhurtham” scheme for making cancer treatment free in districts and medical college hospitals.

Facts about Cancer

According to “India Against Cancer” a portal which provides information on the leading cancers in India –

– In India, one woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes.

– For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India.

– Mortality in India due to tobacco is estimated at upwards of 3500 persons every day.

– Tobacco whether smoked or smokeless is also one of the causes of cancer and accounted for 3, 17,928 deaths (approx) in men and women in 2018.

– Around 2.25 million people are estimated living with cancer disease.

– Over 11, 57,294 lakh new cancer patients are registered every year.

– Total deaths due to cancer in 2018

Total: 7, 84, 821

Men: 4, 13,519

Women: 3, 71,302

In 2018, the risk of dying from cancer before the age of 75 years is 7.34% in males and 6.28% in females.

Note: Cancer of oral cavity and lungs accounts for 25% of deaths in males and about 25% in females of breast and oral cavity cancer.

  • According to WHO, In 2018, cancer claimed approx 9.6 million lives in the world and India’s share was around 8.17%.
  • According to the Lancet report about cancer, India is the second biggest killer after heart disease.

Now, the main concern that everyone should focus on is what causes cancer?

Lancet’s report says that the use of tobacco is a risk factor for 14 types of cancer. Other causes include alcohol, drug use, and poor diet. Unsafe sex is also the main risk factor for cervical cancer and is the second most common cancer type in women. High risk of lung cancer is tobacco use and air pollution.

Symptoms of Cancer

– It has been seen that usually, cancer has no specific symptoms. Therefore, people should undergo appropriate cancer screening on time. Also, early detection of cancer has made several cancers treatable.

Symptoms of common cancer in general are:

– Habits of bowel changed, for example, continuous diarrhoea.

– Consistent cough or blood in saliva represents simple infections like bronchitis.

– Unexplained anaemia (low blood count) may also result into the deadly disease.

– Breast lumps

– Urination change

– Lumps in testicles.

– Blood in the stool.

Various types of cancer treatment

– Immunotherapy

– Chemotherapy

– Radiation Therapy

– Hormone Therapy

– Targeted Therapy

– Stem Cell Transplant

– Surgery

– Precision Medicine etc.

How cancer can be prevented?

Early detection and prevention is must to cure Cancer disease.

– Healthy weight

– Healthy diet

– Physically active

– Get vaccinated

– Sun Protection

– Don’t use tobacco

– Regular check-ups etc.

Therefore, National Cancer Awareness Day highlights the cancer disease across the country to reduce the risk of cancer and to provide knowledge on how to tackle this disease and what are the probable symptoms that should not be neglected. World Cancer Day is also celebrated on 4 February annually to raise awareness about cancer globally.