World Cancer Day
What is World Cancer Day?
- World Cancer Day every 4 February is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control(UICC).
- Created in 2000, World Cancer Day has grown into a positive movement for everyone, everywhere to unite under one voice to face one of our greatest challenges in history.
- Each year, hundreds of activities and events take place around the world,
- gathering communities, organisations and individuals
- in schools, businesses, hospitals, marketplaces, parks, community halls, places of worship - in the streets and online –
- acting as a powerful reminder that we all have a role to play in reducing the global impact of cancer.
By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we're working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life - saving cancer treatment and care is equal for all - no matter who you are or where you live.
“I Am and I Will”
- This year's World Cancer Day's theme.
- It is all about us and our commitment to act.
- Through our positive actions, together we can reach the target of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer by one third by 2030.
How Cancer affect our world?
- The total economic global cost of cancer is 1.16 USD trillion.
- Every year 9.6 million die from Cancer
- Around 70% of all cancer deaths occur in the least developed parts of the world
By investing 11USD billion in prevention strategies in low- to middle-income countries, this could potentially save 100USD billion in cancer treatment costs.
What can we do?
- As an individual, we can teach ourselves, the people we love and our communities about the common signs and symptoms.
- Healthcare professionals need to understand the signs and symptoms to avoid misdiagnosis and understand and encourage the value of early detection in their patients.
- Policy makers have a critical role to play. Governments can develop strategies to increase awareness and education and integrate early detection and screening into national health systems.
What is cancer ?
- Cancer is a disease which occurs when changes in a group of normal cells within the body lead to uncontrolled, abnormal growth forming a lump called a tumor; this is true of all cancers except leukemia (cancer of the blood).
- If left untreated, tumours can:
- grow and spread into the surrounding normal tissue, or to other parts of the body via the bloodstream and lymphatic systems,
- and can affect the digestive, nervous, skeletal, respiratory and circulatory systems,
- or release hormones that may affect body function.
General risk factors
- Older age.
- A personal or family history of cancer.
- Using tobacco.
- Some types of viral infections.
- Specific chemicals.
- Exposure to radiation, including ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Smoking is linked to 71% of lung cancer deaths, and accounts for at least 22% of all cancer deaths.
Cancer risk reduction
- Not every type of cancer is preventable but we do know we can prevent many cancers through lifestyle choices alone.
- According to the World Health Organization, at least one third of common cancers are preventable through a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.
- What to Do?
- Choose healthy food.
- Quit smoking.
- Cut down on alcohol.
- Be sunsmart and stay away from solariums.
- Avoid pollutants and chemicals (including asbestos, pesticides and containers containing BPA)
- Get Vaccinated. (Human Papilloma Virus, Hepatitis B virus)
- Know the signs and symptoms.
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
- Get regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
A recent UK study found that for eight common cancers
- malignant melanoma
- testicular cancers
survival is three times higher when diagnosed early
Early detection of cancer
- Early detection is important because when abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat.
- By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread and be harder to treat.
- Screening tests are used to find cancer before a person has any symptoms.
- Several screening tests have been shown to detect cancer early and to reduce the chance of dying from that cancer.
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years or can continue yearly screening.
- Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.
- Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms.
Colon and rectal cancer and polyps
- For people at average risk for colorectal cancer, starting regular screening at age 45.
- This can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool (a stool-based test) every year,
- or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a visual exam) every 3 to 5 years.
- No matter which test you choose, the most important thing is to get screened.
- People over 85 should no longer get colorectal cancer screening.
- If you choose to be screened with a test other than colonoscopy, any abnormal test result needs to be followed up with a colonoscopy.
- Yearly lung cancer screening is recommended with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) for certain people at higher risk for lung cancer who meet the following conditions:
- Are aged 55 to 74 years and in fairly good health
- Currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 15 years
- Have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history. (A pack-year is 1 pack of cigarettes per day per year. One pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years would both be 30 pack-years.)
Take home message
- Early detection and screening save lives.
- Reaching this goal in our community, will need our maximum effort to spread knowledge and awareness.