Every year, February 4 is celebrated as World cancer day. It is a global initiative against cancer led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). India stands third among nations with the highest number of cancer patients. Every year, over 13 lakh people in India suffer from cancers, as per the National Cancer Registry Programme report. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) estimates that there will be a 12 percent rise in cancer cases in India in the next five years. Sedentary lifestyles, increase in urban pollution, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, tobacco and alcohol consumption, are said to be the risk factors for cancer.
World Cancer Day aims to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and demanding governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. The theme of World Cancer Day 2022 is ‘Close the Care Gap’. One can develop cancer at any age, if not diagnosed early and treated on time, it can increase the risk of death.
Most common cancers in India
The most common forms of cancer affecting the people of India are breast cancer, oral cancer, and cervical cancer. Breast cancer is leading cancer in women of India. Late first pregnancy (greater than 30 years), single child, late menopause, high fat diet, inactive lifestyle, etc are some of the potential risk factors of breast cancer. Tobacco is responsible for causing 40 to 50% of oral cancers in men and about 20% in women. In India, tobacco chewing is more prevalent than smoking in many places. Cervical cancer develops in the cervix of women. It is because of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection that spread through sexual contact and from mother to child during pregnancy.
Cancer can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle and staying away from risk factors. Prevent cancer by following these simple steps
1. Stay away from tobacco and alcohol.
2. Eat healthy diets – Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
3. Protect yourself from environmental pollution
4. Regular screening for early detection of cancer
5. Get a vaccine for hepatitis B
6. Maintain personal hygiene
7. Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight
8. Self-examination for breast cancer detection