World Cancer Day 2019

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World Cancer Day is held on the 4th of February each year to raise public awareness of the global death toll due to cancer. The Day promotes the goals and efforts taken both for prevention and towards finding a cure for cancer. The theme for 2019 is ‘I am and I will’ to raise a collective and personal voice for cancer awareness.

It is almost impossible today, to find a family not affected in some way by cancer. According to statistics cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally, affecting people more than malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined.

However, on a more hopeful note with increased educational and government efforts cancer issues can be curbed and even a cure found. On a personal level early detection of cancer can greatly reduce the mortality that is associated with cancer.

Prevention

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are a number of steps that can be taken towards the prevention or control of cancer. Mentioned below are a few of the basic triggers that should be avoided.

Tobacco – Avoiding tobacco is one of the single greatest steps that can be taken to avoid cancer. It has more than 7000 chemicals with at least 250 known for being harmful and more than 50 known to cause cancer. Tobacco is singularly responsible for causing many types of cancer.

Dietary – Modifying your diet is another way in which to approach cancer control. Studies have shown that there is a link between being overweight and obesity to many types on cancer. Regular physical activity and a diet that helps with maintaining a healthy body weight is essential towards considerably reducing the risk of cancer.

Alcohol – Alcohol abuse causes a risk factor for many types of cancer and if heavy drinking is combined with tobacco use, this the risk is increased greatly.

Early diagnosis

At present, early diagnosis is the best way to increase the chance for successful treatment. It ensures that treatment can be focused on the detecting symptomatic patients. Early treatment results in avoidable deaths and disability from cancer and increases the chances of survival.

Regular medical check ups are important for this reason. An experienced practitioner will have the necessary skills to identify cancer symptoms and refer for a diagnostic test. The stigma surrounding cancer should be removed and people should be more aware of how important early diagnosis is. Treatment for cancer is only commenced if there is pathologic confirmation of cancer.

Western Hospital offers a host of services and expert Consultants along with a 24-hour Emergency Unit manned by experienced medical staff and an on call dedicated Physician.