IMA holds special webcast on the occasion of World Cancer day with oncologist, Dr. PK Jhulka
New Delhi, February 4, 2016: The theme for this year’s World Cancer Day 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 today organized a special webcast, which was attended by over 2000 doctors from across the country on cancer prevention, management and new treatments. Dr. P.K Jhulka, Oncologist at AIIMS updated doctors about the importance of counseling their patients about the necessity to adhere a healthy lifestyle to prevent acquired cancer and to regularly monitor those at high risk of the disease.
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. 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”.
Adding to this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. PK Jhulka, Professer Oncology at AIIMS said, “Till about a decade ago, less than 10% of all lung cancer patients were non-smokers. This percentage has now gone up to around 20%, which is significantly high. Rising pollution levels may be playing a role. About 40% of cancers can be prevented, and one-third of cancers can be cured through early diagnosis and treatment.”
The South East Asia Region has 14 of the world's top 20 polluted cities, making clear the need for governments to tackle the issue with a sense of urgency. There are also stricter laws needed against smoking in public places. All IMA buildings have been made smoke and tobacco free. IMA has also issued a warning against hookah and e-cigarette smoking and asked for a ban of showing smoking scenes in movies.