Key Cancer Facts:
- 9.6 million people die from cancer every year.
- At least one third of common cancers are preventable.
- Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide.
- 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.
- Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
- The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion.
Causes of cancer:
Cancers can be caused by a number of different factors and, as with many other illnesses, most cancers are the result of exposure to a number of different causal factors. It is important to remember that, while some factors cannot be modified, around one third of cancer cases can be prevented by reducing behavioral and dietary risks.
Modifiable risk factors include:
- Alcohol: The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks are a cause of a number of cancers is now stronger than ever before. Alcohol can increase the risk of six types of cancers, including bowel (colorectal), breast, mouth, pharynx and larynx (mouth and throat), oesophageal, liver and stomach.The evidence suggests that in general, the most alcohol drinks people consume the higher the risk of many cancers, and that even moderate alcohol intake increases the risk of cancer.
- Being overweight or obese: excess weight has been linked to an increased risk of developing 12 different cancers, including bowl and pancreatic cancers. In general, greater weight gain, particularly as adults, is associated with greater cancer risks.
- Diet and nutrition: Experts suggest that diets and nutritional intake, particularly diets high in red meats, processed meats, salted foods and low in fruits and vegetables have an impact on cancer risks, particularly colorectum, nasopharynx and stomach.
- Physical activity: regular physical activity not only helps to reduce excess body fat and the cancer risks associated with this, but being physically active can help to reduce the risks of developing colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
- Tobacco: Tobacco smoke contains at least 80 different cancer-causing substances (carcinogenic agents). When smoke is inhaled the chemicals enter the lungs, pass into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body. This is why smoking or chewing tobacco not only causes lung and mouth cancers but is also related to many other cancers. The more a person smokes, the younger they start, and the longer they keep smoking, all further increase the risk of cancer. Currently tobacco use is responsible for around 22% of cancer deaths.
- Ionising radiation: Manmade sources of radiation can cause cancer and are a risk for workers. These include radon, x-rays, gamma rays and other forms of high-energy radiation. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiations from the sun, sunlamps and tanning beds can also lead to melanoma and skin malignancies. Fair skinned people, individuals with a lot of moles or who have a family history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer, are at highest risk. However, people of all skin tones can develop skin cancer, including individuals with darker skin.
- Work place hazards: Some people risk being exposed to a cancer-causing substance because of the work that they do. For example, workers in the chemical dye industry have been found to have a higher incidence than normal of bladder cancer. Asbestos is a well-known workplace cause of cancer – particularly a cancer called mesothelioma, which most commonly affects the covering of the lungs.
- Infection: Infectious agents are responsible for around 2.2 million cancer deaths annually. This does not mean that these cancers can be caught like an infection; rather the virus can cause changes in cells that make them more likely to become cancerous.Around 70% of cervical cancers are caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, while liver cancer and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma can be caused by the Hepatitis B and C virus, and lymphomas are linked to the Epstein-Barr virus.Bacterial infections have not been thought of as cancer-causing agents in the past, but more recent studies have shown that people who have helicobacter pylori infection of their stomach develop inflammation of the stomach lining, which increases the risk of stomach cancer.
Non-modifiable risk factors include:
- Age: Many types of cancer become more prevalent with age. The longer people live, the more exposure there is to carcinogens and the more time there is for genetic changes or mutations to occur within their cells.
- Cancer-causing substances (carcinogens): are substances which change how a cell behaves, increasing the chances of developing cancer. Genes are the coded messages inside a cell that tell it how to behave (i.e. which proteins to make), mutations or changes to the gene, such as damage or loss, can alter how that cell behaves making it more likely to be cancerous
- Genetics: Some people are unfortunately born with a genetically inherited high risk for a specific cancer (‘genetic predisposition). This does not mean developing cancer is guaranteed, but a genetic predisposition makes the disease more likely.For example, women that carry the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 breast cancer genes have a higher predisposition to developing this form of cancer than women with a normal breast cancer risk. However, less than 5% of all breast cancer is known to be due to genes. So, although women with one of these genes are individually more likely to develop breast cancer, most cases are not caused by a high risk inherited gene fault. This is true of other common cancers where some people have a genetic predisposition – for example, colon (large bowel) cancer.
- The immune system: People who have weakened immune systems are more at risk of developing some types of cancer. This includes people who have had organ transplants and take drugs to suppress their immune systems to stop organ rejection, plus people who have HIV or AIDS, or other medical conditions which reduce their immunity to disease.
History of World Cancer Day:
World Cancer Day celebration was planned in the Geneva, Switzerland in 1933 under the direction of UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) and with the support various other well-known cancer societies, research institutes, treatment centers and patient groups. The World Cancer Day event was founded to fulfill all the needs to fight and control this deadly disease.
According to the report it has been noted that Report people more than 12.7 million are diagnosed with cancer as well as people more than 7 million are dying of cancer every year. The day was planned to start its annual celebration in order to save millions lives from the cancer as well as instruct people to check its symptoms, follow its preventive measures and gets saved from the risk of this epidemic disease. The day, 4th of February was established specially for raising the cancer awareness among people, teaching them about healthy diet, regular and proper physical activity and a lesson on how to get prevented from the environmental carcinogens.
How World Cancer Day is Celebrated?
To spread the special messages about the cancer awareness and its prevention, the leading health organizations as well as nongovernmental organizations takes part by organizing the camps, awareness programs, rallies, lectures, seminars and etc. Variety of control measures policies gets implemented and people are promoted to join in masses.
Common public, health organizations and other nongovernmental organizations are requested and promoted through many ways before the day celebration to take part during the event celebration. Common people are the main target of the event celebration to which the message is to be spread and shared to get more control over the cancer. A toolkit, having templates, leaflets and direction for various organizations accordingly, is provided by the UICC for better assistance.
This event is celebrated every year by using a particular theme to make this event more result oriented among people. According to the report, people (of low and middle income group) with various types of cancer and death ratios per year are liver cancer/6,10,000, lung cancer/1.3 million, colorectal cancer/6,39,000, stomach cancer/8,03,000, breast cancer/5,19,000 and etc.
During the event celebration, people are targeted to let them known about the risk factors causing the cancer such as tobacco use, overweight or obese, low fruit or vegetable intake, less or no physical activity, alcohol use, sexual transmission of HPV-infection, urban areas air pollution, indoor smoke, genetically risk factors, over exposure to sunlight and etc. People are also get aware about the vaccination method against the human papilloma virus and hepatitis B virus.
Why World Cancer Day is Celebrated?
World cancer day is celebrated to make aware the normal people about the risk factors and preventive measures of the cancer to get prevented or its early detection. Generally, people suffering from the cancer are hated by the normal people in the society and behaved like an untouched person. There are various other social myths related to the cancer that normal people think that they would got cancer if they would touch or live with the person having cancer. The day is celebrated as well to remove such type of the social myths related to the cancer. It is celebrated to make the normal aware about all the reality of the cancer like its symptoms, causing factors, treatment, and etc.
Variety of events are organized at this day to show people that the person with cancer should not be treated separately, they should have equal rights to live like a normal person in the society and any relation should not be changed for them. They should be fulfilled their wishes by their relatives even if they have less chances of survival. It is very necessary to make them feel better like a normal person and should not make them feel that they are given some treatment for survival as they are dying. They must feel self respect and find a normal environment in their home and society.
Normal person should avoid being over-sympathetic to them or sharing their unsuccessful stories as it may make their pain and fear intolerable. They should be shared some positive stories to get boost their morale and make them feel energetic and self-confidence in order to defeat cancer or make their journey easy and happy.
According to the statistics, it has been noted that most of the cancer cases and cancer deaths (47% and 55% respectively) occur in less developed areas of the world. If it is not controlled, this condition may get worse by 2030. So, it is very necessary to get control over such situation at all the corners of the world.
During this event celebration people are promoted well about their healthy lifestyles, balanced diet, regular physical activity and weight management in order to reduce the risk of occurrence of cancers. They are promoted to get rid of their alcohol habits, unhealthy diet and physical immobility.
Common Myths and Facts about Cancer:
Below are listed some common myths and facts about the cancer among people which are necessary to be removed and well understand the reality about the cancer to get control over it.
- Generally people think that cancer tissues are just health issue however it is not.
- Common people think that cancer is a disease for wealthy and old age people however it is a global and epidemic disease which can affect all age group.
- Common people think that suffering from the cancer is just like a punishment however most type of the cancer are now well treatable.
- Common people think that having cancer is their fate however approximately 30% of the cases can be cured and prevented for whole life.
World Cancer Day Themes:
World cancer day is celebrated every year using a particular theme; some of the year wise themes are listed below:
- 2007: “Today’s children, tomorrow’s world”
- 2008: “Give children and young people a smoke-free environment”
- 2009: “I love my healthy active childhood”
- 2010: “Vaccinating to prevent virus related liver cancers”
- 2011: “Teaching Children and Teenagers to limit their sun exposure by being SunSmart!”
- 2012: “Together it is possible”
- 2013: “Cancer – Did you know?”
- 2014: “Debunk the Myths”
- 2015: “Not beyond us”
- 2016, 2017 and 2018: “We can. I can.”
- 2019 – 2021: “I Am and I Will”
International Cancer Day Facebook Covers
Cancer Disease Slogans
- Attitude Is A Little Thing That Makes A Big Difference!
- A Friend Is The Medicine For All The Diseases!
- Cancer Ills Often Form Strong Wills!
- Cancer Is A Word, Not A Sentence!
- Cancer Survived Is A Life Revived!
- Cancer: Just Beat It!
- Education Limits Cancer, Optimism Is Built With Education!
- Fight Cancer With Hope!
- Feed Your Faith And Your Fears Will Starve To Death!
- Fight For What Is Right!
- Fight The Fight, Find The Cure!
- Fighting Cancer Is Our Goal. We Can Do It It’s In Our Soul!
- I Walk All Night, So My Daughter May Walk In A World Without Cancer!
- It’s Not About How Hard You Hit. It’s How Hard You Get Hit And Keep Moving Forward!
- Join The Fight, One Step At A Time!
- Never, Never, Never Give Up!
- Nothing Is Predestined: The Obstacles Of Your Past Can Become The Gateways That Lead To New Beginnings!
- Once You Choose Hope, Anything’s Possible!
- Silence Is Cancer’s Best Friend!
- Some Days There Won’t Be A Song In Your Heart, Sing Anyways!
- Some See A Hopeless End, While Others See An Endless Hope!
- Supporting The Fighters, Admiring The Survivors, Honoring The Taken, And Never Ever Giving Up Hope!
- Time To Thrive – My Cancer Must Die!
- To See A Rainbow We Must First Deal With The Rain!
- We’re Ready To Take A Stance And Help Give Hope For A Fighting Chance!
- Whoever Said Winning Isn’t Everything, Wasn’t Fighting Cancer!
- You Have Cancer, Cancer Does Not Have You!