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Cancer- A Crippling Mockery of Mankind

Posted by rajan upadhyay on Thu, Jun 25, 2020  
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Cancer is a critical health and human issue. It is one of the WHO’s “Ten threats to global health.” Today, 9.6 million people each year will die from cancer making it the second-most deadliest disease. Yet, at least one third of cancers can be prevented. This gives us all every reason to act.

There are an estimated 25 Lakh cancer cases in India. According to the National Commission on Macroeconomics & Health (NCMH) Report (2005), the Crude Incidence Rate (CIR) for Cervix cancer, Breast cancer and Oral cancer is 21.3, 17.1 and 11.8 (among both men and women) per 100,000 populations respectively. The cancer registry data reveals that 48% of cancers in males and 20% in females are tobacco related and are totally avoidable. Common cancers caused by smoking tobacco are lung, larynx, pharynx and oesophagus, while cancers of the mouth, tongue and lip are due to chewing and smoking tobacco.

The major risk factors to cancer are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, stress and consumption of tobacco & alcohol. Attempts will be made to prevent these risk factors by creating general awareness about the Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and promotion of healthy life style habits among the community. Such interventions will be done through the peripheral health functionaries, NGOs and lately by corporate wellness programmes.

Most people are unaware of having it as it may have vague symptoms. Present health blog on cancer will be a useful guide for better insight in to the same.

Warning Signs of Cancer

Detecting cancer early is one of the most powerful ways we can help save lives. With so many different types of cancer, the symptoms are varied. Yet there are key signs and symptoms to look out for;

  • Unusual lump/swelling which are often painless and may increase in size
  • Persistent coughing/breathlessness/difficulty in swallowing
  • Recent changes in bowel habit (Constipation/diarrhea/blood in stool)
  • Urgency/frequency/inability/pain in urination
  • Unexpected bleeding from any orifices of body
  • Unexplained weight loss in short span
  • Fatigue/extreme tiredness/severe lack of energy
  • New mole/change in existing mole in terms of size/shape/color/bleeding/Oozing etc.
  • Unexplained on and off pain in any body part
  • Unusual changes in breast size/shape/feel/pain/appearance
  • Loss of appetite for prolonged period
  • A non-healing spot/sore/wound/mouth ulcer
  • Persistent/painful heartburn/indigestion
  • Heavy drenching night sweat
  • Miscellaneous

If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t be afraid to seek medical advice urgently.

Ways to Reduce Cancer Risk

  • Do not smoke or use any form of tobacco / make your home smoke free
  • Enjoy a healthy diet
  • Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s cancer risk
  • Vaccinate your children against viruses like Hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Papilloma (HPV)
  • Avoid too much sun exposure; use sun protection
  • Reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Be physically active
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Take part in organized cancer screening programs

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle keeps you feel good. It is equally important for your self-esteem, self-image and gives you an optimistic outlook. Take care of your body as it is the only place you have to live.

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