World Cancer Day Feb 4th

World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February every year to create awareness about cancer. The theme for the year 2020 is 'I am and I will'.

  • 4th Feb 2020

World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February every year to create awareness about cancer. The theme for the year 2020 is 'I am and I will'.  Cancer occurs due to the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells in the tissue or organ of the body.  Cancer can occur at any age and if not detected early and treated, it can be fatal. It is the second leading cause of death globally.
According to Dr Vijay Agarwal, Senior Oncologist in New Delhi, "Lung, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer are some cancers that are most common in India". There has been a rise in the number of cancer cases that are now being reported in India, and health experts believe that poor lifestyle is the primary reason for this rise.

Dr Monica Mahajan, Director of Internal Medicine at Max Healthcare says, "The rising incidence of cancer in India, especially in younger individuals, and also in patients with no significant family history of cancer is a major concern. It is most likely due to exposure to carcinogenic toxins in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Poor lifestyle and change in dietary habits with more intake of processed foods maybe responsible. Smoking, vaping and drugs in the younger age groups maybe a predisposing factor."

Although reports show that the cancer burden in India has increased, this could be because there has been an increased effort from the government and the medical community to raise awareness on the early detection of cancers, and provide more avenues for cancer screening, informs Dr Agarwal. This means that cases "which were earlier going undetected and untreated are now being discovered and recorded," says Dr Agarwal.

Mumbai-based oncologist Dr Tejinder Singh says that the rising number of cancer cases in India is because of increased lifespan. "Life expectancy of people is around 72 years now. As the age expectancy increases, chances of mutation developing repair mechanism becomes weak. This is what puts people at risk of cancer."

Dr Singh also gives the following reasons for increase in number of cancer cases in India:

Environmental factors like rising air pollution.
Childbirth after 30 years of age, infertility, lack breastfeeding can increase risk of breast cancer.
Tobacco consumption and smoking is one of the top causes for increasing cancer cases in India.
Poor diet and lifestyle.
Giving some tips to reduce your cancer risk, Dr Singh adds, "Avoid consumption of fast food, junk food, processed and packaged food which can lead to obesity. Follow an active lifestyle and exercise regularly."

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