National Cancer Awareness Day 2023: National Cancer Awareness Day is held on November 7 globally. According to WHO data, nearly 70% of cancer-related mortality occurs in low- and middle-income countries. About one-third of deaths are due to cancer, which is brought on by things including smoking, having a high body mass index, drinking, eating few fruits and vegetables, and not exercising enough. The financial toll of cancer is substantial and rising. Nearly 10 million fatalities will be caused by cancer worldwide in 2020, and the following types were the most prevalent in terms of new cases:

  • Breast (2.26 million cases)
  • Lung (2.21 million cases)
  • Colon and rectum (1.93 million cases)
  • Prostate (1.41 million cases)
  • Skin (non-melanoma) (1.20 million cases) and 
  • Stomach (1.09 million cases)

The following were the leading reasons for cancer deaths in 2020:

  • Lung (1.80 million deaths)
  • Colon and rectum (935000 deaths)
  • Liver (830000 deaths)
  • Stomach (769000 deaths) and
  • Breast (685000 deaths) 

National Cancer Awareness Day: History 

In September 2014, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister, first declared a day dedicated to raising awareness of cancer. Therefore in 2014, the focus of the first-ever celebration of the day was on the early detection and treatment of cancer. As far as the history of this day is concerned, November 7 has been carefully chosen as it also marks the anniversary of the birth of Madame Curie, the scientist whose discoveries of radium and polonium led to the development of radiotherapy as a form of cancer treatment.  In the year 1911, her research on radioactivity earned her two Nobel prizes. 

The National Cancer Control Programmed was established in India in 1975 and announced the opening of facilities for the nation’s cancer care. The appropriate tools were available in these facilities to identify cancer at an early stage. 

Significance of National Cancer Awareness Day 2023

The day of November 7 has been designated as National Cancer Awareness Day in an effort to spread and increase public understanding of the deadly condition. A startling 3,17,928 deaths of men and women in India were attributed to excessive tobacco use in 2018, including oral (non-smoking) consumption and smoking. Tobacco is a toxic substance that is believed to be the leading cause of cancer in a number of people all over the world. 

Since that time, 1.1 million new cancer cases have been recorded annually in the nation; some of them are related to tobacco smoking, while others are caused by other cancers, including oral cavity and lung cancer in men, breast cancer, and cervical cancer in women.  Besides the cost factor, the mortality rate among both women and men due to cancer would also be lower if more people visited screening centers at a time when the earliest symptoms were observed. 

The goal of the 2023-24 National Cancer Awareness Day is to increase awareness among the largest possible population in India, motivate them to seek early symptom screening, and successfully prevent and treat the disease in its earliest stages. 

What to Do On 7, November 2023?  

  • Get yourself tested. It’s not always essential to wait until an issue starts to directly affect you before you can identify it. Early signs can sometimes be quickly identified through screening exams, and doctors and other medical experts may be better equipped to assist you if necessary. This is why Dr. Sheetu Singh states that an early diagnosis and intervention in the case of cancer can help save lives. 
  • Create awareness about the disease around you. Make sure you talk to your friends, family, and as many people as possible in your environment about the importance of early screening and diagnosing cancer symptoms. 
  • Assist the afflicted. Unfortunately, there may not be much we can do to assist a person who has been affected by the ailment. However, sometimes small deeds can matter a lot. 

Facts About Cancer 

According to “India Against Cancer,” a site that offers details on the most prevalent cancer in India,

  • Every eight minutes, a woman in India passes away from cervical cancer. 
  • In India, one woman passes away from breast cancer for every two newly diagnosed patients.
  • It is estimated that tobacco use causes more than 3,500 deaths each day in India.
  • Tobacco whether smokeless or smoked is also one of the causes of cancer and accounted for 3,17,928 deaths (approx) in women and men in 2018.
  • It is estimated that 2.25 million people have cancer. 
  • Every year, there are more than 11,57, 294 lakh new cancer cases reported. 
  • The total number of deaths due to cancer in 2018 is 7, 84, 821 men is 4,13,519 and women is 3,71,302 
  • Males in 2018 had a 7.34% chance of dying from cancer before the age of 75, compared to 6.28% of females. 

Note: Males die from lung and mouth cancer at a rate of 25% while women die from breast and oral cancer at a rate of about 25%. 

  • According to WHO, there were around 9.6 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2018.
  • India is the second-leading cause of death from cancer worldwide, after heart disease, according to the Lancet analysis. 
  • By 2020, India is projected to have over 17.3 lakh new instances of cancer and over 8.8 lakh cancer-related fatalities, with the most common types being breast, lung, and cervix cancers. 

Symptoms of Cancer 

It has been observed that cancer typically exhibits no particular symptoms. People should therefore schedule a timely cancer screening that is appropriate. Also, early detection of cancer has made several cancers treatable. General signs & symptoms of common cancer include:

  • Changes in bowel habits, such as persistent diarrhea.
  • Consistent blood or cough in saliva represents simple infections like bronchitis.
  • The fatal condition may also occur from unexplained anemia (low blood count).
  • Urination change
  • Breast lumps
  • Blood in the stool
  • Lumps in testicles

Various Types of Cancer Treatment 

  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Surgery
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Precision Medicine etc. 

How Can Cancer Be Prevented?

To effectively treat cancer, early prevention and detection are essential. 

  • Healthy Diet
  • Healthy Weight
  • Get Vaccinated
  • Physically Active
  • Don’t Use Tobacco
  • Sun Protection
  • Regular Check-ups etc. 

The health of individuals who pass away from cancer represents a significant threat to India. In 2020, 8.5 lakh persons in India passed away from cancer. National Cancer Awareness Day is commemorated annually on November 7 to increase public awareness of cancer and its mortality rate. Dr. Sheetu Singh contribution offered a ray of hope, reminding us of the crucial part each person can play in raising awareness and promoting information to fight this fatal illness. Her passion and dedication had a lasting effect and reinforced the need for cooperation and information in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380

Email-Id: sheetusingh@yahoo.co.in

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