World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day is an initiative to unite the entire world together in the fight against the global epidemic of cancer. World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February, and it aims to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising awareness and educating people about cancer. The objective is to press governments and individuals across the world to act and take preventive measures against the disease.
Founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008, the primary objective of World Cancer Day is raising awareness for cancer and encouraging its prevention, detection, and treatment.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a disease that occurs when changes in a group of normal cells within the body lead to uncontrolled, abnormal growth forming a lump called a tumour. This is true of all cancers except leukaemia (cancer of the blood). If left untreated, these tumours are likely to grow and spread into the surrounding normal tissue, or to other parts of the body via the bloodstream and lymphatic systems, eventually affecting the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems or releasing hormones that may affect body functions. About 10 million people die from cancer every year. At least one-third of common cancers are preventable, and cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer-related deaths will increase annually to 13 million by 2030.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) dedicatedly works to expand on the success and impact of the day, it is committed to ensuring that the event is seen and heard by more and more people around the world every year. UICC raises awareness for World Cancer Day by developing a campaign that serves the different organisational priorities of its members worldwide. The objective is achieved by offering various tools and guidance in order to encourage the member organisations to run local cancer awareness campaigns that are aligned and acclimated to the global World Cancer Day message. The awareness message for World Cancer Day is also publicised through digital, traditional, and social media in order to reach a large audience.
It has been researched and accepted that the chances of developing cancer are highly influenced by the lifestyle choices we make. Let's take a look at some easy lifestyle changes and healthy behaviours that can make a big difference.
Eating healthy, being physically active
Just following a healthy diet may not guarantee cancer prevention, but it helps in reducing the risk of cancer. A healthy diet should consist of plenty of fruits and vegetables. It is recommended to avoid all the high-calorie foods, including refined sugars that could make you obese. It is recommended to do moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes each week or do vigorous physical activity for at least 75 minutes each week to stay fit since obesity affects 20% to 40% of adolescents worldwide and being overweight or obese is strongly linked to an increased risk of developing breast, bowel, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal, kidney, and gallbladder cancers later in life.
Limiting the alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol is injurious to health and is strongly linked with an increased risk of several different cancers, including cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel, liver, and breast. The experts recommend limiting or avoiding alcoholic intake.
Tobacco causes at least 22% of all cancer deaths. A variety of medications and resources, such as counselling and deaddiction centres are available for people who want to stop using tobacco. In order to successfully quit tobacco use, one should have a comprehensive plan that includes steps such as setting a quit date, developing strategies to deal with the urges etc.
Getting a regular check-up
It is extremely crucial to go for preventive health check-ups or cancer screening to ensure your health status. As cancer is considered to be a silent disease, you might not even notice any symptoms initially. Furthermore, if cancer is detected at early stages, there is a fair chance of being cured and recovering.
Over a third of all cancers can be prevented by reducing your exposure to risk factors such as alcohol, tobacco, obesity, physical inactivity, infections, environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens, and radiation.
World Cancer Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and the importance of preventive screenings, and the cancer detection process all year round. We must empower people to understand prevention is possible and encourage positive action to prevent cancer.
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Disclaimer: The content provided is for education and informational purpose only, none of the information contained in our blog amounts to any form of opinion or advice. Please go through policy related documents carefully or consult an expert before making any insurance-related decisions.