World Cancer Day, an annual event held on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer worldwide. World Cancer Day began in 2000 when the first World Cancer Summit was held in Paris. The event took place in Paris, attended by members of cancer organizations and prominent government leaders from around the world. A document entitled the Paris Charter against Cancer, containing 10 articles, was signed outlining a global contribution to achieving the facilitation and quality of life of cancer patients.
The global uniting initiative is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The motto of celebrating World Cancer Day is to spread awareness about Cancer by uniting the entire world. The aim of this initiative is to save millions of lives around the world by spreading awareness and education about the global cancer epidemic.
This year marks the ultimate year of the ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign that began in 2019. World Cancer Day aims to reduce misconceptions about cancer and help people to get all the right information about it. It also offers an opportunity to have an impact on improving the lives of cancer patients and survivors.
UICC aims “By raising awareness around the world, improving education and catalyzing personal, collective and government action, we are working together to re-imagine a world in which millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equal for all-no matter who you are or where you live.”
Every year, hundreds of events and activities take place all over the world, gathering communities, organizations, and individuals in schools, businesses, hospitals, markets, parks, community halls, places of worship – on the streets and online – as a strong reminder that we all have a responsibility to reduce the global impact of cancer.
Cancer is the second major cause of death worldwide. The top cancers affecting the Indian population are lung, breast, cervical, head and neck, and colorectal cancer (CRC). Thus it is important to understand each type of cancer and how it affects the human body. On World Cancer Day, everyone comes together with an initiative to achieve a healthier and brighter cancer-free world.
World Cancer Day Theme 2021
The theme of World Cancer Day 2021 is ‘I Am and I Will.’ This is a multi-year campaign that started in 2019 and this year will mark the last year. It is an empowering call for action that encourages personal commitment, and it also represents the power of action that has now been taken to have a positive impact on the future. It focuses on ‘all our actions matter together.’
There is no single test that can precisely diagnose cancer. A patient’s complete assessment usually needs a detailed history and physical examination, along with diagnostic tests. Many tests are needed to determine whether a person has cancer or whether another condition (such as an infection) mimics the symptoms of cancer. After diagnosis, the patient undergoes an imaging test such as a CT scan or MRI scan or a full-body PET CT scan to identify the level and spread of cancer from its point of origin. When the diagnosis highlights the spread of cancer, it is known as metastasis.
There are several types of treatment for cancer. The types of treatment you receive may depend on the type of cancer you have or how advanced it is. Some cancer patients will be given only one treatment. But most people have a combination of treatments, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. When you need cancer treatment, you have to learn and think about it. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. But talking to your doctor and learning about the types of treatment you may have can help you feel more in control.
Cancer Status in India
In India, cancer patterns are dominated by a high burden of tobacco-related head and neck cancer, particularly oral cancer, in males and cervical and breast cancer in females. The burden of cancers, such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer, associated with obesity, lower levels of physical activity, and sedentary lifestyles are increasing.
There is a significantly increasing trend in breast cancer incidence rates across the country, with an annual percentage increase ranging from 1.4% to 2.8% and more pronounced in urban areas than in rural areas. Incidence and prevalence are also increasing for overweight and obesity-related cancers and lower levels of physical activity, such as colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.
Tips for Reducing the Risk of Cancer
- Avoid Using Tobacco
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol
- Avoid high-calorie foods
- Limit processed meats
- Maintain a proper and healthy weight
- Get used to regular medical care
- Don’t expose your body to the sun for an extended period of time
- Wear a protective mask, if you’re exposing to any toxic fumes or dust
The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day, “I Am and I Will,” is all about you and your commitment to action. We believe that together, through our positive actions, we can achieve the goal of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer to one-third by 2030.
World Cancer Day, an annual celebration held on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer worldwide. World Cancer Day began in 2000 when the first World Cancer Summit was held in Paris.
- Folate rich foods
- Vitamin D
- Cruciferous vegetables