National Cancer Awareness Day 2021
National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on 7 November every year to highlight the significance of the increase in cancer. The main objective of this day is to spread knowledge to the general public about cancer prevention and early detection. The National Cancer Awareness program was initiated in 1975. In 1984-85 this programme has been modified to provide thrust prevention and early detection of cancer.
National Cancer Awareness Day was first announced in September 2014 by the Union Minister for health and family welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan. National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on 7 November to mark the birth anniversary of Nobel prize-winning Scientist Madam Curie. She was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867. Madame Curie is remembered for the discovery of radium and polonium (Chemical element) which are used in cancer treatment. The invention of these elements contributes major work for the development of nuclear energy and radiotherapy of cancer treatment.
What Is Cancer
A human body is made up of cells (the basic unit of the human body). So cancer is a disease in which cells of the body grow uncontrollable and spread to other parts of the body.
How Cancer Begins
Cancer begins when genetic changes occur within human cells. Cells start to grow uncontrollably and these cells mass forms tumours. A tumour can be cancerous and benign (which means the tumour can grow but will not spread). A cancerous tumour is malignant, meaning it can grow and spread to other parts of the body.
Types Of Cancer
There are mainly four types of cancer:
- Carcinoma: It begins in the skin or tissue that covers the internal organs of the body. e.g Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Colorectal Cancer.
- Sarcomas: A sarcoma can develop in fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymph vessels, cartilage and bone.
- Leukemias: It is a cancer of the blood. e.gAcute lymphocytic leukaemia, Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Acute myeloid and Chronic myeloid leukaemia.
- Lymphomas: It begins in the lymphatic system. e.g Hodgkin Lymphoma, Nonhodgim Lymphoma.
Causes Of Cancer
Cancer is caused by changes of DNA ( mutation) within the cells. The DNA is composite of a large number of individuals genes( Genes are the unit of DNA). These give the instruction to the cells what and how has to be performed function. Change or error in the genes can stop the cell from its normal function and may allow the cells to become cancerous.
There are some causes responsible for cancer:
- Tobacco & Smoking
- Lifestyle factors
- Genetic Disorders
- Exposures to certain viruses
- Environmental exposure
- High dose of chemotherapy and radiation
Symptoms Of Cancer
There are a few symptoms that might raise the alarm
- Continuous Diarrhoea
- Consistent cough and blood in saliva
- Unexplained anaemia
- Breast Lumps
- Change in urination
- Blood in stool
- Lumps in testicle
Why National Cancer Awareness Day Is Important
In India, approx 1.1 million new cases are being reported annually. It was estimated that about 0.44 million died due to cancer in 2011. While in 2016 and 2021 0.51 million and 0.61 million respectively died. By 2040, the number of new cases every year is expected to increase to 29.5 million and the number of cases related to death to 16.4 million.
Hence National Cancer Awareness Day is important for us because:
- Death rates are high in India: Death rates are high due to late detection of disease. So it is important to spread knowledge and awareness about cancer.
- Women must get tested for breast cancer: Women are advised to self-test regularly at home. Stand in front of the mirror and check the shape, size and conditions of the breast.
- Preventing Cancer-causing lifestyle: We should avoid cancer-causing lifestyles e.g tobacco, smoking, alcohol, drugs, poor eating habit and unsafe sex are the risk factors of causing cancer.
Frequently Asked Question
Question-When is national cancer awareness day
Answer- Nov 7 is celebrated as National Cancer Awaerness Day
Question-When is national breast cancer awareness day
Answer-October is breast cancer awareness month
Question-National ovarian cancer awareness day
Answer-World Ovarian Cancer Day, May 8th.
Question-Why is national cancer awareness day is celebrated?
Answer- National cancer awareness day is celebrated to spread knowledge and information about cancer disease, prevention, detection and its treatment.
Question- Is there a vaccine for cancer?
Answer- No, there is no vaccine for cancer, but there are vaccines for some viruses that are known to cause cancer, e.g human papillomavirus and hepatitis B.
Question- Is Cancer contagious?
Answer- Cancer is not like the flu, cold or covid so cancer is not contagious.
Question- Is cancer genetics?
Answer- Yes cancer is genetics, due to changes in the genes of human genetic material our body cells do not perform functions properly. This mutation in the genes may be inherited and it leads to cancer.
Question- What are Cancer cells?
Answer- Cancer cells are cells that lost control of their ability to divide in a controlled fashion creating a group of out-of-control, dividing and growing cancer cells- a tumour.
Cancer has become a more dangerous disease in the world. It is increasing the death rate. The main goal of National Cancer Awareness Day is to spread knowledge for early detection of the disease so that patients can cure and prolong their life. People should avoid unhealthy food, smoking, drugs, alcohol etc.
Disclaimer: All the content of this article is for information purposes only.