The 4th of February is World Cancer Day. This year the theme of the Day is ‘I Am and I Will’, which refers — Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. It’s time to make a personal commitment.
World Cancer Day intending to save millions of avertible deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs.
Bangladesh currently has more than 1.5 million cancer patients. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were a little 150,781 new cancer cases in Bangladesh last year. With 12,764 cases, breast cancer accounts for 8.5% of all cancer patients. It is the highest single cancer category for women accounting for 19% of all women cancer patients.
Female patients mostly suffer from breast cancer followed by cervix uteri, oesophagus, gallbladder and, lip and oral cavity cancer while oesophagus tops the list of cancers for males in Bangladesh followed by lung, lip, and oral cavity cancers.
A fundamental step towards reducing the impact is to look towards prevention and understand how to lower the risk of developing the disease. Many lifestyle factors, such as diet and smoking, can play a role in the likelihood of contracting cancer. An estimated 30-50% of cancer cases are preventable by avoiding these risk factors.
However, prevention should be the primary objective. Awareness of prevention, early detection and screening are necessary to reduce premature mortality from cancer.