In line with the World Cancer Day theme ‘We can, I can’, IMA to raise awareness about cancer prevention across its 1700 branches
New Delhi, January 30, 2016: This year, World Cancer Day is being observed on February 4. The theme is ‘We can. I can’. The three year campaign, 2016-2018 will explore how everyone – together or individually – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer and bring about a change. All people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities. As a step in this direction, IMA National has urged its local and state branch to do its bit to raise awareness about cancer prevention and treatment.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) began the World Cancer Day to help save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. It is observed in almost the whole world as an annual event. There were 14.1 million new cancer cases, 8.2 million cancer deaths and 32.6 million people living with cancer (within 5 years of diagnosis) in 2012 as per Globocon report. And, 19.3 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed each year by the year 2025.
In India, one million new cases occurred in 2012 with 6.8 lakh deaths. We have 17.9 million people living with cancer (within 5 years of diagnosis). The most common cancers worldwide were lung cancer, followed by breast, colorectal, prostate, stomach, liver and cervical cancers. Breast cancer was the commonest cancer in women, while in males; lung cancer was the most common cancer.
Speaking on the issue, Dr S S Agarwal, National President, IMA and Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, Hony. Secretary General, IMA in a joint statement said, Cancer is a complex group of diseases that number more than 100. Cancer is a major public health problem that affects people in every nook and corner of every country of the world regardless of caste, creed or socioeconomic status. It’s not only the patient but the family suffers too. The economic cost of lost life years due to cancer exceeds that of any other disease. We request all IMA Leaders/branches to observe World Cancer Day and help raise mass public health awareness on the subject of cancer prevention through lifestyle management.”
Smoking continues to be the biggest cancer risk factor. Tobacco use accounts for 5.4 million deaths every year, or 22% of all cancer deaths. Reducing the rates of tobacco use will significantly decrease the global burden of 13 different types of cancers, including lung, oral cavity etc. Alcohol use has also been linked to cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bowel, liver and breast. About 40% of cancers can be prevented, and one-third of cancers can be cured through early diagnosis and treatment.