World Cancer Day 2018
World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4 to bring awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
Cancer Awareness Day?
World Cancer Day also known as the Cancer Awareness Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.
World Cancer Day targets misinformation, raises awareness, and reduces stigma. Multiple initiatives run on World Cancer Day to show support for those affected by cancer.
One of these movements is #NoHairSelfie, a global movement to have “hairticipants” shave their heads either physically or virtually to show a symbol of courage for those undergoing cancer treatment. Images of participants are then shared over social media. Local events also take place.
Deaths Caused By Cancer
- Cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012.
- The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.
- Among men, the 5 most common sites of cancer diagnosed in 2012 were lung, prostate, colorectum, stomach, and liver cancer.
- Among women the 5 most common sites diagnosed were breast, colorectum, lung, cervix, and stomach cancer.
- Around one third of cancer deaths are due to the 5 leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
- Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing around 20% of global cancer deaths and around 70% of global lung cancer deaths.
- Cancer causing viral infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 20% of cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
- More than 60% of world’s total new annual cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. These regions account for 70% of the world’s cancer deaths.
- It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 within the next 2 decades.
Cancer is a scientific term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.
One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012. The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of:
- Lung (1.59 million deaths)
- Liver (745 000 deaths)
- Stomach (723 000 deaths)
- Colorectal (694 000 deaths)
- Breast (521 000 deaths)
- Oesophageal cancer (400 000 deaths)
Cancer Prevention Tips
More than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, including:
- Tobacco use
- Being overweight or obese
- Unhealthy diet with low fruit and vegetable intake
- Lack of physical activity
- Alcohol use
- Sexually transmitted HPV-infection
- Infection by HBV
- Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation
- Urban air pollution
- Indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.
Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer causing about 20% of global cancer deaths and around 70% of global lung cancer deaths. In many low-income countries, up to 20% of cancer deaths are due to infection by HBV and HPV.
- Increase avoidance of the risk factors listed above.
- Vaccinate against human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV).
- Control occupational hazards.
- Reduce exposure to non-ionizing radiation by sunlight. (UV)
- Reduce exposure to ionizing radiation (occupational or medical diagnostic imaging).