World Cancer Day 2018
Together We Can Beat Cancer!
Cancer is a global epidemic being the 2nd leading cause of death globally. Cancer causes over 8 million deaths each year and over 10 million new cases are diagnosed each year.
Every year on 4th of February, the entire world celebrates this day to fight the global cancer epidemic by creating awareness and educating people about this disease. This has come along way in not only changing the perceptions of people about cancer, but also pushing governments to put more effort and resources into cancer education, prevention and treatment.
What is cancer?
Cancer is the rapid and uncontrollable growth of malignant cells (cancerous cells) in the body and it can attack any part of the body. The most common types of cancers include lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer among others.
Before the sensitisation on cancer started, there were various common misconceptions about this disease, including:
- Cancer is a death sentence
- Cancer is contagious
- Cancer is for the old
- Any abnormal tumour is cancer
- All lung cancers are caused by smoking
- If anyone in your family has cancer it is a guarantee that you will get cancer, among many other myths that people believed about cancer.
The facts about cancer are as follows:
- Cancer can develop in anyone; young or old, rich or poor, men, women and children
- Having a person in your family is not a guarantee that you will get cancer, although it may increase your risk slightly
- Vaccination against cancer-causing infections such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B can help prevent some cancers like cervical and liver cancer
- Cancer creates a significant burden on the global economy
- Not smoking can help prevent cancer
- Breast cancer can attack men
The fight against cancer has come a long way, however there is more that needs to be done to make the situation more bearable. These are some of the things that would help move forward in this fight against cancer:
- Allocating more resources towards the treatment of cancer; to have better cancer diagnostic and treatment equipment that will help in offering better medical treatment to people.
- Medical cover from government to ensure that they are able to cater for their people’s medical treatment because cancer treatment is expensive. Most people get overwhelmed when they get diagnosed with cancer, partly because of the high cost of getting good quality treatment.
We cannot however overlook the huge steps that have been made in fighting cancer.
More people are now getting tested earlier if any symptoms develop, now that they understand the importance of doing so. Early diagnosis is instrumental in the fight against cancer. Early detection not only increases your chance of beating cancer, it also makes treatment easier and much less costly.
Please go see your doctor today if you have any symptoms that could potentially be cancer. Please also encourage your family and friends to do the same. Together we can beat cancer!
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