World Cancer Day, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and marked each year on 4 February, is a chance to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering and distress from cancer.
This year’s theme, “I can, we can” acknowledges that everyone can address the cancer burden. We can work together to reduce cancer risk factors. We can overcome barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. We can work together to improve cancer control and attain global targets to decrease premature mortality from cancer.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is the growth of uncontrolled abnormal cells in the body. It develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called a tumour. Some cancers, such as leukaemia, do not form tumours.
Types of cancer?
Cancer may occur anywhere in the body. In women, breast cancer is the most common and in men, Prostate cancer is very common.
There are major five categories –
- Carcinomas – Begins with the skin or tissues
- Sarcomas – Develops in the bone, fat, muscle or other connective tissues
- Leukaemia – Begins with the blood and bone marrow
- Lymphomas – Starts in the immune system
- Central nervous system – Develop in the brain and spinal cord
Cancer is complicated and it is difficult to find its symptoms. It can have the smallest symptoms which you may not even notice, but here are a few things you can keep a check on:
- Persistent cough or blood-tinged saliva
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained anaemia (low blood count)
- Breast lump or breast discharge
- Lumps in the testicles
- A change in urination
Treatment depends on the stage and the type of cancer. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells while reducing damage to normal cells nearby. Advances in technology have made this possible.
The three main treatments are:
- Surgery: directly removing the tumour
- Chemotherapy: using chemicals to kill cancer cells
- Radiation therapy: using X-rays to kill cancer cells
Cancer and Mental Health:
Cancer is not among those conditions which harm only harm your body but it also affects you mentally and emotionally, and the same is faced by your loved ones as well.
One day you are fine and the very next you get to know things which gets hard to process and create this plethora of feeling and turmoil. But at this time it is you who need to be strong and brave. Your body can take almost everything, it is your mind you have to convince.
On this World Cancer Day, we just want to say you are Brave and you can fight back and set an example for others and if you are a survivor, you have our utmost respect, motivate others with your story.
Stay Strong, Stay Healthy, Stay Fit!