National Cancer Awareness Day 2022
National Cancer awareness day is observed every year in India on the 7th of November. This day is observed to highlight the significance of cancer awareness. National Cancer awareness day aims to create awareness about cancer prevention and its early detection. According to ICMR, the cancer burden in India is expected to increase to 29.8 million in 2025. The cancer burden in India was 25.7 million in 2021.
Cancer occurs when the cells in the body undergo abnormal multiplication and division (proliferation). There are various causes and risk factors of cancer, and it is essential to prevent them to decrease the cancer risk. Watching out for early symptoms and getting diagnosed are the key components to fighting cancer.
To create awareness, let's learn more about the causes and common symptoms of cancer
What Are The Various Causes Of Cancer?
The exact causes of cancer are not known. However, various risk factors increase the risk of Cancer development. These top 12 risk factors include the following,
1. Age: The risk of developing cancer increases with age. People who are 65 and more are at an increased risk of developing cancer.
2. A family history: A family history of cancer also acts as a risk factor for developing it.
3. Smoking and using tobacco: One of the most common risk factors for most cancer cases is smoking and using tobacco. Smoking is a risk factor for various cancers like cancer of the mouth, lungs, stomach, liver, colon, etc.
4. Excessive alcohol consumption: A habit of heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing various cancers like oral cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, etc.
5. Viral infections: Infections caused by viruses like Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and Hepatitis B and C viruses may increase a person's risk of developing cancer.
6. Unprotected long-term UV exposure: Exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun or artificial UV light from tanning beds can also increase the risk of developing cancer.
7. Radiation exposure: Excessive radiation exposure may also increase cancer risk.
8. Poor diet: An unhealthy diet containing an excess of sugars, unhealthy fats, and spicy and smoked foods may also increase the risk of developing certain cancers. An unhealthy diet also leads to obesity which is another cancer risk factor.
9. Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and poor lifestyle choices may increase a person's risk of developing cancer.
10. Hormones: A hormone imbalance may act as a cancer causing risk factor.
11. Obesity: People who are obese are at more risk of developing cancer.
12. Chemical exposure: Certain chemicals, like radon, asbestos, etc., can increase the cancer risk.
Watch Out For These Common Symptoms Of Cancer!
There are various persistent symptoms that are not to be ignored as they might indicate cancer. Being aware of the symptoms of cancer helps in getting it diagnosed and treated early. The following are some common symptoms of cancer.
- Sudden unexpected, and unexplained weight loss or gain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent coughing or hoarseness
- Severe headaches
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Extreme fatigue
- Changing of skin like yellowing, redness, or darkening
- Formation of sores that don't heal
- Changes in an existing mole
- Blood in stools
- Persistent heartburn or indigestion
- Change in urine or stool routine
- A lump in the breast
- Thickening or skin changes in the breast
- Painful urination
- Blood in the urine
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Persistent fever
- Night sweats
Awareness Is Essential
This National Cancer Awareness Day 2022, create awareness among your kith and kin by telling them about the various risk factors of cancer and how important it is to prevent them. Encourage your near and dear ones to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and not smoking and consuming alcohol or tobacco.
Educating people about the various common cancer symptoms and the importance of not ignoring them and getting diagnosed is essential, as early cancer diagnosis will help in initiating early treatment and achieving a better overall quality of life.