In India, Cancer is the second most common disease which is responsible for maximum mortality. It accounts for more 3 lakh deaths per year. This is mainly due to the poor concept of prevention in our country. Majority of the reasons for the detection of Cancer is when the patient starts to experience excruciating pain or discomfort that starts to affect his daily lifestyle. 90% of the times in India, the warning signs and symptoms are not detected early; this complicates the situation and disregards the general principle of early detection and timely treatment.
Most common cancers in India:
The Cancers that occur post commonly in the Indian population include – Cancers of the skin, lungs, breast, rectum, stomach, prostate, liver, cervix, oesophagus, bladder, blood and mouth. The causes of such high incidence rates of these cancers may be either due to external or environmental factors like food habits, industrialization, population overgrowth, changing patterns of the life style or, may be due to genetic mutations, hormonal and poor immune conditions.
Tobacco is the major cause:
Latest studies have concluded that Tobacco is the biggest culprit of the rising epidemic of Cancer. Consumption of tobacco is the leading cause of cancers in India. Regular use of tobacco via smoking, chewing (khaini) , snuffing or in form of Guthka also is responsible for 65 to 85% cancer incidences in men and women. The various cancers caused by the use of tobacco are in the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, larynx, lungs and urinary bladder.
Understand and implement that Prevention is better than Cure:
“Prevention is better than cure” – the prevention strategies are very much crucial in cancer eradication. Undoubtedly, this is the sole inexpensive long term method for cancer control.
We need to educate the public about the harmful effects of tobacco and discourage them to use the same. Besides this, every individual should become responsible for their own health by:
- Opting for physical activities
- Avoiding being overweight
- Adopting healthy diet practices
- Reducing occupational and environmental exposures
- Reducing alcohol uses
- Opting for immunizations against Hepatitis B virus
- Opting for HPV vaccination
We all have to fight cancer together:
This year UICC (Union for International Cancer Control), in association with WHO (World Health Organization) and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) launched a three-year campaign under the theme “We Can. I Can.” The only prime moto is to mobilize each individual and have collective efforts to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Few evidence-based health interventions like HPV vaccination, Screening and preventive treatment for cervical cancer, diagnosis of breast cancer and its early treatment need to be prioritized. This will definitely improve our health outcomes and ensure that women, children and adolescents not only survive, but thrive and transform the world as much as mortality due to such a lethal disease cancer is concerned.