World Cancer Day

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. These abnormal cells may form a mass of tissue, called a tumor. Some cancers, such as leukemia, do not form tumors.  If left untreated, tumors can grow and spread into the surrounding normal tissue, or to other parts of the body via the bloodstream and lymphatic systems, and can affect the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems or release hormones that may affect body function.

World Cancer Day is on the 4th of February

Cancer Statistics in the World

  • Every year 9.6 million people die from cancer
  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide
  • 70% of cancer deaths occur in third world nations
  • The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion

Source: Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Cancer Statistics in India (2012)

  • Estimated number of people suffering  from cancer – 2.25 million (approx.)
  • Every year, new registered cancer patients – 11,57,294 lakh
  • Cancer-related deaths  – 7,84,821
  • As many as 2,500 persons die every day due to tobacco-related diseases in India mainly because of oral cancer
  • In 2012 the incidence of oral cancer in India is 53842 in males and 23161 in females.
  • 30% of cancer patient have oral cancer

Source: NICPR and NCBI

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is organised every year on the 4th of February to raise awareness among general public about the risk factors and measures that can be taken to prevent cancer or its early detection. The day is also celebrated to bust certain myths related to cancer.

Union for International Cancer Control have launched a 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign from 2019 to 2022. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future. A multi-year campaign offers a chance to create long-lasting impact by increasing public-facing exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and impact-driven action.

Tobacco and cancer

Tobacco smoke contains at least 80 different cancer-causing substances (carcinogenic agents). When smoke is inhaled the chemicals enter the lungs, pass into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body. This is why smoking or chewing tobacco not only causes lung and mouth cancers including cancer of the larynx (voice box), esophagus, throat, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia. The more a person smokes, the younger they start, and the longer they keep smoking, all further increase the risk of cancer. Currently tobacco use is responsible for around 22% of cancer deaths.

Click here to learn more about Consumer VOICE initiatives on tobacco intervention

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