World Cancer Day, which is is observed on February 4 every year, aims to raise awareness globally for the prevention, detection, treatment about this deadly disease.
This year marks the second year of the theme “Close the Care Gap” which signifies the inequalities in the treatment of cancer globally and to take necessary action for its prevention especially by the health community.
Cancer is considered as the second leading cause of death worldwide and the suffering incurred from its detection is more than a physical malady, psychological, economical and emotional and much of the fear stems from ignorance and misconceptionswhich can be allayed through communication.
According to the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the estimated number of Cancer cases in India by different states and Union Territories in 2020 was 13,92,179 which increased to 14,26,447 in 2021 and 14,61,427 in 2022.
Early detection of the deadly disease can lead to early treatment hence, saving the lives of the patient.
Most of the cancers are associated with the consumption of tobacco and alcohol which is hazardous to health in every aspect.
Cancer of the cervix is associated with viral infection that can be prevented by vaccination at an early age.
It is important to know the risk factor of the type of cancer the patient is suffering from as it helps to control the the development of the ailment.
When the risk factor cannot be modified (e.g. genetic defect), the individual needs to be monitored closely by appropriate screening.
The early symptoms and signs of cancer are not very specific and people often ignore them and sometimes even the physicians often fail to diagnose the symptoms which leads to growth of the disease.
It is found that in many areas treatment is not available for cancer due to lack of health infrastructure in the concerned place and in such a situation they need to move to a different city where the treatment is available but it takes time during the travel which may be risky for the patient.
It is usually not possible to know exactly why one person develops cancer and the risk of developing it is probable if a person has a family history of the disease and a older person is at a higher risk of it.
Cancer may lead to depression, anxiety and many more distressing symptoms affecting the patient psychological related to the fear of losing their lives.
Despite the awe- inspiring developments in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, half of the world’s population do not get the full range of essential health services.