World Cancer Day – Early Detection Saves Lives
Did you know?
Around 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year; 4 million of them are aged between 30 and 60 years. Almost one third of cancer patients are diagnosed with cancer at a late stage, when their health has deteriorated or when admitted in an emergency.
February 4th is observed as World Cancer Day under the tagline ‘We can. I can.’ It as an opportunity to spread awareness about cancer, especially the fact that early detection can increase the chances of cure and many types of cancer can be prevented by simple changes in lifestyle.
Early warning signs of cancer
- Persistent pain
- Lump, bump or swelling
- Ulcer or wound that does not heal
- Unplanned significant weight loss or gain
- Extreme tiredness
- Changes in a mole
- Changes in bowel habits
- Persistent cough or difficulty in swallowing and indigestion
Some tips on prevention
- Know your family history. Several cancers are hereditary in nature. Knowing the family history and staying alert to early warning signs can help prevent and diagnose cancer in the early stages.
- Get an annual health check-up done. Screening for cancer and getting an annual health check-up helps catch diseases early, while also preventing other lifestyle diseases. Women above the age of 40 should have a mammogram every 1 or 2 years, as advised by the doctor.
- Consult your doctor about vaccinations.
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent cancer
- Avoid smoking or second-hand smoking.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid excess exposure to the sun.
- Limit red meat consumption.
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid sharing needles.
- Mothers should breast feed their babies for at least 6 months.