World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February across the world. It is an initiative by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Today, cancer is a critical health and human issue. This day unites people to fight against, show support for, and take personal action against this disease.
The theme for this 2019 to 2021 is ‘I am and I will.’ This marks the launch of a three-year campaign, which is a “call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.”
Unfortunately, 9.6 million deaths occur each year due to this disease. This makes this deadly disease the second leading cause of death in the world. Data also suggests that up to 3.7 million lives can be saved by early diagnosis and treatment of this deathly disease.
What is cancer?
Simply defined, cancer is the uncontrolled and abnormal growth and development of cells. This growth forms a mass or lump in the body called tumour, which if left untreated can spread and affect all the other surrounding cells. In certain type of cancers such as blood cancer, tumours are not formed.
Causes of cancer
Cancer can be caused due to a wide range of factors, which can be categorized as modifiable and non-modifiable factors.
The modifiable factors include poor diet and nutrition, alcohol, being overweight or obese, tobacco, and lack of physical exercise. The non-modifiable factors include age, genetics, and a weak immune system.
On this day, let us pledge to educate ourselves and our families about the early symptoms of this disease. Research shows that survival rates for certain types of cancer are three times higher when diagnosed early. Let us also promise to show support in all kinds to the victims of this disease.
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