World Cancer Day is organized by the Union for International Cancer control and is celebrated on 4th February is aimed at raising awareness in the international community to end the injustice of those needless suffering from cancer. World cancer day aims to raise awareness and reduce misconceptions and stigma associated with the disease. Cancer is the second leading causing of death globally.

The theme selected for 2020 is “I can and I will” stresses that all of us can act in the face of cancer. This year World Cancer Day celebrates its 20th Anniversary, the rising cases of cancer worldwide have made the discussion more significant.

What is Cancer?
Cancer occurs when there are changes in a group of cells in your body leading to abnormal growth forming a lump also called tumors. All types of cancers other than leukemia (cancer of the blood) start with a tumor. If left untreated tumors can grow and spread to adjoining tissues or other parts of the body through your lymphatic system and bloodstream.

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Tumors can be broadly classified into three groups:-

Benign tumors are not cancerous and rarely threaten life. They tend to grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body.
Malignant tumors are cancerous. They grow faster than benign tumors and can spread and destroy surrounding tissues. Malignant tumors can break and spread to other parts of the body, the process is called metastasis.
Precancer tumors are tumors that may develop into cancer.
There are five main types of cancers:-

Carcinoma Cancer
Sarcoma cancer
Lymphoma and Myeloma
Brain and spinal cord cancer.
Cancer is caused by a combination of environmental, genetic or lifestyle factors. The use of tobacco and tobacco products remains the leading cause of cancer. Tobacco use has been linked to many types of cancer such as lung cancer, larynx cancer, and stomach cancer.

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World Cancer Day is observed by the global cancer community, governments, and individuals around the world. Every year events and activities are organized around the world. Every year 9.6 million people die from the dreaded disease according to estimates this number may increase to 13.2 million by 2030.

Cancer cases are rising in India. According to leading oncologists in the country, the top three cancers in the country are breast cancer, cervical cancer, and oral cancer. According to the National Cancer Registry Program over 1300 Indians die every day because of cancer.

Statistics also show the greatest increase in cancer has been in low and middle-income countries where resources to cope with the disease is smaller. Some of these deaths are preventable by increased government support to increase funding for prevention, detection, and treatment programs.

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India has formulated the National cancer control program. The program aims to control tobacco-related cancers, early diagnosis, and treatment of cervical cancer and breast cancer. The program also aims to provide pain and palliative care by increasing the health infrastructure

Experts in India say tackling cancer must have a two-pronged approach –

Promoting healthy lifestyle habits – obesity, smoking, excessive drinking increases the risks of the disease. Exercise and a healthy balanced diet lower the risks.
Prevention and early detection by use of HPV vaccination, regular health-checkups, regular pap smears for women between 35-64 years and self-examination of the breasts can help early detection of breast cancer.
Governments in India hope to set up diagnostic facilities across the country for early detection and to provide minimal treatment. The government hopes to set up a regional cancer center for the treatment of cancer.

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