World Cancer Day Special: Avoid ‘delays’ in care

As per a WHO report, cancer caused roughly 10 million deaths, or nearly one in six deaths are caused by cancer in 2020, making it the top cause of death globally. Some of the most prevalent types of cancer include breast, lung, colon, rectum, and prostate cancers.

The same report identifies the use of tobacco, having a high body mass index, drinking alcohol, eating few fruits and vegetables, and not exercising account for about one-third of cancer-related fatalities.

The above-mentioned stats raises the need to ring the red alarm, not to create panic or fear among people, but to raise awareness. To that end, World Cancer Day, which takes place on February 4th each year, is a global event that aims to raise cancer awareness on a large scale and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. 

Preparedness is the key

One of the major challenges when fighting against cancer is that it is not a single disease but a group of diseases with different causes, symptoms, and treatments. However, several key risk factors are associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. These include tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants.

Early detection and treatment, as per WHO, reduce cancer mortality. Early diagnosis and screening are the two components of early detection. 

  • Early identification of cancer increases the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome and a greater probability of survival with less morbidity and less expensive treatment. The lives of cancer patients can significantly improve by detecting cancer early and avoiding delays in care.
  • Screening identifies individuals with findings suggestive of specific cancer or pre-cancer before they develop symptoms. If abnormalities are identified during screening, further tests to establish a definitive diagnosis should follow and referral for treatment if cancer is proven to be present.

This includes regular screenings for certain types of cancer, such as mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colon cancer, as well as prompt treatment for any abnormalities found.

Prevention is one of the most promising ways to reduce the burden of cancer. This includes promoting healthy lifestyles, such as not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and avoiding exposure to known carcinogens. 

Another important aspect of the fight against cancer is research. Significant progress has been made in recent years in understanding the causes and biology of cancer and developing new treatments. For example, immunotherapy, which harnesses the immune system’s power to fight cancer, has shown remarkable success in treating some types of cancer. 

Additionally, targeted therapies, which are designed to target the molecular changes that drive cancer growth specifically, are also showing promise in the treatment of many types of cancer.

To conclude

World Cancer Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about cancer’s global burden and encourage efforts to prevent, detect, and treat this disease. By promoting healthy lifestyles, early detection and treatment, and investing in research, we can work together to reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of those affected by this disease.

Ready to make a positive impact in the world?
UPDEED is the place for you. Our free and open platform is filled with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations who are making a difference in their communities and beyond. Connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals from around the globe on UPDEED, and discover your own potential to create meaningful change. Join our community and make a difference.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *