World Cancer Day held every 4 February is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all – no matter who you are or where you live.
While having words with A News of India a Senior Oncologist Dr. Naman Utreja Said – The primary purpose of celebrating this day is to reduce the number of cancer patients and to reduce the death rate causing due to it.
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.
While we live in a time of awe-inspiring advancements in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, many of us who seek cancer care hit barriers at every turn. Income, education, geographical location and discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle are just a few of the factors that can negatively affect care.
While there have been numerous advancements in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer—factors that should contribute to the decline of the disease—the number of new cancer cases diagnosed each year has globally continued to increase. There were 8.1 million new cases diagnosed in 1990, 10 million in 2000, 12.4 million in 2008, and 14.1 million in 2012. The number of annual deaths worldwide from cancer has also increased—from 5.2 million people in 1990 to 8.2 million people in 2012 to an estimated 9.6 million in 2018. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if the incidence of cancer continues to grow at the reported rate, the number of deaths worldwide from cancer will increase to more than 16.3 million by 2040. However, also according to WHO, as many as 40 percent of deaths from cancer are preventable. As a result, raising awareness of cancer prevention has become a prominent goal of many cancer and health organizations around the world, and World Cancer Day has come to represent an annual reaffirmation of the importance of this goal.
Not only this, the aim of celebrating World Cancer Day is to reduce the misconceptions about cancer and to help people in getting the right information about it. There are several myths related to this disease as people behave with cancer patients untouchable, they think that if people will live with cancer patients they will also get cancer. This day is celebrated to remove these kinds of social myths. Therefore, people must know how and what type of treatment is given to cancer patients. Cancer people have all the right to live like a normal person and they must feel self-respect and should get a normal environment in their home and society.
Cancer: Key Facts & Figures
Cancer can affect anyone at any time
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide
17 people die every minute from cancer worldwide
9.6 million people die from cancer every year worldwide
1 in 6 deaths are due to cancer worldwide
Tobacco is the leading cause of cancer worldwide
22 percent of cancer deaths arise from tobacco use
3.7 million lives could be saved every year by early detection and treatment
70 percent of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
25 percent of cancer cases in LMICs are due to viral infections (HBV and HPV)
87 percent of cancer cases occur above the age of 50 years
A third of all common cancers are preventable
All of us should take the responsibility to spread the awareness about this disease to prevent others.