January 16, 2023
Every year on February 4th, we mark World Cancer Day. We believe it's an opportunity for everyone to work together to lessen the impact of cancer on the world. The goal is to save lives by raising awareness, promoting education, encouraging others to act morally and support the battle against cancer that can be prevented and cured.
The emphasis is on optimism. By banding together and taking action, we can lessen the toll that cancer takes on our health, our economy, and our spirits as a society.
According to WHO, cancer accounts for nearly 10 million deaths worldwide. Increased awareness of related risk factors and screenings can help reduce the incidence of cancer by 30-50% and the number of deaths caused by it. Many people are unaware that environmental and lifestyle factors, particularly smoking and obesity, play a major role in the development of most cancers and are unclear about the best ways to prevent the illness.
The best way to tackle this challenge is to increase public awareness by starting a conversation about the issue. Strategic partnerships between institutions, corporations, governments, health systems, and academic and research institutions may assist raise awareness, promote early detection, fund treatment, address injustices, and provide all-encompassing solutions. At every level, combining efforts provides the best chance of turning ideas into action.
Early identification and prevention (reducing or eliminating risk factors) are the best ways to combat cancer. Not only will early diagnosis of malignant or precancerous growths save lives, but it will also lessen the financial and psychological strain of the necessary treatments that follow..
Medical research is contributing to the development of defenses against cancer. Today, patients between the ages of 9 and 44 can get the cervical cancer vaccination (the HPV vaccine), which provides lifetime protection. The number of injections required varies depending on the patient's age.
Our ever-growing knowledge has helped us to avoid cancer as much as possible. For instance, understanding that smoking is a primary reason for cancer is an excellent motivation to stop smoking and stay away from locations with high levels of air pollution. Depending on the situation, this information may also help you decide whether to wear a mask to guard against pollution.
The study of cancer biology has made incredible strides in recent years, greatly advancing cancer detection, cancer types and causes, diagnosis, and therapy. But regrettably, the majority of the world's population still lacks access to a full spectrum of basic health services, including care for pregnant women and newborns, routine vaccinations, sexual and reproductive health services, and chronic sickness treatment.
By spreading awareness of cancer prevention, training healthcare professionals on how disparity affects cancer care, and putting effective community-based plans into action, we may move toward health equity. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has started its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan as part of these initiatives. This strategy has objectives focused on increasing the diversity of participants in cancer clinical trials, providing oncologists with the tools they need to provide high-quality treatment to every patient, and reducing the obstacles to cancer care.
Everyone is at risk from cancer, regardless of where they live in the globe, their level of income or poverty, or whether they are a high-flying CEO or a refugee. World Cancer Day serves as a symbol to remind us all that by increasing awareness, maintaining vigilance, and receiving timely treatment when cancer is discovered - can not only improve survival rates, but can make cancer a disease that is both preventable and curable.