World Cancer Day — February 4th, 2022

When is World Cancer Day?

World cancer day is commemorated on February 4th of every year to empower communities and individuals who have cancer worldwide.

The theme for World Cancer Day 2022

The theme for world cancer day 2022  is “Close the Care Gap,” which aims to raise awareness of the equality gap that impacts so many people and communities and the lives of those affected by cancer.

Income, education, geography, and discrimination based on ethnicity, age, or lifestyle are just a few of the many factors that might negatively impact cancer treatment.

“Not Beyond Us,” “Debunk the Myths,” and “Together, Let’s Do Something” were previous themes.

World Cancer Day

World cancer day is the only worldwide movement that brings people from all over the world together to fight the global cancer epidemic. Millions of people in every part of the globe are suffering from cancer.

Every year on world cancer day, we strive to prevent millions of people from dying of cancer by boosting cancer awareness and education and pressuring governments and individuals worldwide to take action against the illness.

History of World Cancer Day

World cancer day is a relatively new celebration to bring awareness to this age-old disease. This day was legally endorsed by an organization which is known as the ‘Charter of Paris.’

It was first initiated in 2000 during the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris. The charter was formed with several objectives in mind including promoting cancer prevention and cure research, raising awareness, and influencing patient care.

World cancer day was formed in the spirit of raising awareness about cancer because the founders of the charter understood that increasing knowledge and information about cancer would motivate the global community to help fight cancer.

The event focuses on the importance of collective action and ensuring equal access to medical care, including diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients. While it’s natural to feel helpless in the face of cancer, world cancer day is about taking positive action and is thus is a day of hope and inspiration.

It was believed that by establishing world cancer day as an annual event, the Charter of Paris would remain in people’s hearts all across the world.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a condition in which changes in a group of normal cells in the body cause uncontrolled, abnormal growth resulting in a lump known as a tumor.

Tumors can grow and spread into surrounding normal tissue or other sections of the body via the bloodstream and lymphatic systems, affecting the digestive, neurological, and circulatory systems and releasing hormones that can alter bodily function if left untreated. There are three types of cancer tumors: benign, malignant, and precancerous.

Benign

Benign tumors are not malignant and pose a low risk of death. They grow slowly, do not spread to other body areas, and are composed of cells similar to normal or healthy cells. They become an issue only if they become huge, unpleasant, or push on other organs.

Malignant

Malignant tumors develop more quickly than benign tumors and can spread and damage tissue. Malignant tumor cells can break out from the original tumor and move to other body areas, a process called metastasis.

They continue to divide and develop after infecting healthy tissue at the new location. Metastases are the secondary areas where cancer has spread, and the condition is known as metastatic cancer.

Types of Cancer

There are almost 100 types of cancer. The majority of cancers are named for the organs or tissues where they arise.

For example, lung cancer starts in the lungs, whereas brain cancer starts in the brain. Cancers can also be defined by the cell type responsible for their development, such as epithelial or squamous cells.

Carcinoma

The most prevalent type of cancer is carcinoma. This type of cancer is formed in epithelial cells, which coat the body’s inside and outer surfaces. Many different epithelial cells exist, and they often have a column-like form when observed under a microscope.

An adenocarcinoma is a form of cancer that develops in epithelial cells that creates mucus or fluids. Glandular tissues are epithelial tissues containing this sort of epithelial cell. Adenocarcinomas are the most common breast, colon, and prostate malignancies.

Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is a kind of skin cancer that arises in squamous cells, which are epithelial cells found just beneath the skin’s surface.

Squamous cells line many other organs, including the stomach, intestines, lungs, bladder, and kidneys. Squamous cells seem flat, like fish scales when seen under a microscope. Squamous cell carcinomas are sometimes known as epidermoid carcinomas.

Transitional cell carcinoma develops in the transitional epithelium or urothelium, epithelial tissue.

Sarcoma

Sarcomas are cancers of the body’s soft tissues, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and fibrous tissue like tendons and ligaments.

Osteosarcoma is the most prevalent malignancy. Soft tissue sarcomas include leiomyosarcoma, kaposi sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, liposarcoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

Leukemia

Leukemias are cancer types that start in the bone marrow’s blood-forming tissue. These cancers do not form solid tumors. Instead, abnormal white blood cells increase in enormous numbers in the blood and bone marrow, driving out normal blood cells. A shortage of normal blood cells can make it difficult for the body to supply oxygen to its tissues and fight infections.

Leukemia is divided into four categories based on how quickly the disease progresses and the type of blood cell in which the malignancy begins. Acute leukemia grows swiftly, but chronic leukemia grows more slowly.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is another form of cancer that starts in the lymphocytes such as T cells, or B cells. These white blood cells fight disease and are part of the immune system. Abnormal cells accumulate in lymph nodes and lymph arteries, and other organs in lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma are the two forms of lymphoma.

Reed-Sternberg cells are abnormal lymphocytes observed in Hodgkin lymphoma patients. These cells are usually produced by B cells.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a broad term for a group of malignancies that begin in lymphocytes. B cells and T cells can create malignancies that grow swiftly or slowly.

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a malignancy that starts in plasma cells which are immune cell types. Myeloma cells, which are abnormal plasma cells, pile up in the bone marrow and cause tumors in bones throughout the body.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a form of cancer formed in cells that develop into melanocytes, specialized cells involved in the production of melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanomas are most commonly found on the skin, although they can also develop in other pigmented tissues such as the eye.

Tumors of the Brain and Spinal Cord

Tumors of the brain and spinal cord come in various shapes and sizes. These tumors are named by the type of cell that gave rise to them and the location in the central nervous system where they originally appeared.

An astrocytic tumor, for example, originates in astrocytes which are star-shaped brain cells that help maintain nerve cells healthy. Brain tumors can be benign (i.e., not cancerous) or malignant (i.e., cancerous).

Symptoms of Cancer

Because there are so many distinct types of cancer, the symptoms vary depending on where the disease is found. There are, however, a few vital signs and symptoms to be aware of, including:

  • Swelling or unusual lumps – malignant tumors are often painless and can grow as cancer advances.
  • Coughing, breathlessness, or difficulty swallowing — repeated coughing spells, dyspnea, or difficulty swallowing should be taken seriously.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, and blood in the stools .
  • Unexpected bleeding – includes vaginal, anal, or bowel bleeding and blood in feces, urine, or after coughing.
  • A considerable quantity of weight loss is unexplained and unintentional within a short period, usually a couple of months.
  • Fatigue is characterized by intense exhaustion and a significant lack of energy. It is an essential symptom of any cancer.
  • Unexplained or chronic discomfort as well as pain that comes and goes.
  • Urinary complications as well as pain when urinating.
  • Unusual breast changes in case of breast cancer. Watch for changes in size, shape of breast.
  • A persistent sore or ulcer such as a patch, painful wound, or mouth ulcer.
  • Heartburn or indigestion – heartburn or indigestion that is chronic or painful.
  • Heavy night sweats – be mindful of night sweats that are extremely heavy and soaking.

Causes and Risk Factors of Cancer

A variety of circumstances can cause cancers, and like many other illnesses, most cancers are the consequence of many causative variables. While some factors cannot be changed, it is crucial to note that about one-third of cancer cases can be avoided by reducing dietary and behavioral hazards.

Age

Cancer can take decades to develop. As a result, most cancer patients are above the age of 65. Cancer is more common in older people, but it is not restricted to age. Anyone, at any age, can be diagnosed with cancer.

Lifestyles

An increased risk of cancer has been related to bad lifestyle choices. Smoking, consuming alcohol more than one drink per day for females and up to two drinks per day for males, excessive sun exposure or frequent blistering sunburns, being overweight and having unsafe sex are all known causes of cancer.

You can minimize your cancer risk by changing your bad habits.

Family history

A genetic mutation causes only a tiny percentage of malignancies. Modifications are likely handed down from generation to generation. If your family has a history of cancer, you might be a good candidate for genetic testing to see whether you have any cancer-causing mutations in your family. It’s important to remember that having an inherited genetic mutation doesn’t indicate you’ll acquire cancer.

Health problems

Certain chronic health disorders such as ulcerative colitis can significantly raise your risk of acquiring cancer. Discuss your risk with your doctor.

Alcohol

There are more evidences than ever that alcoholic beverages are linked to various malignancies. Bowel, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx (mouth and throat), oesophageal, liver, and stomach cancers are linked to alcohol consumption. Evidence suggests that the more a person drinks, the higher their risk of several cancers and that even moderate alcohol consumption raises cancer risk.

Obesity

Being overweight or obese has been related to a higher chance of developing 12 different malignancies, including pancreatic and bowel cancers. In general, gaining weight significantly as an adult increases cancer risk.

Tobacco

There are at least 80 cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke (carcinogenic agents). The toxins enter your lungs, pass through your bloodstream, and travel throughout your body when you inhale smoke. This is why smoking or chewing tobacco is linked to a variety of malignancies in addition to lung and mouth cancers. The more a person smokes, the earlier cancer begins, and the longer they continue to smoke, the greater is the risk of cancer. Tobacco usage is currently responsible for approximately 22% of cancer fatalities.

Ionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation from artificial sources can cause cancer and pose a risk to employees. Radon, x-rays, gamma rays, and other high-energy radiation are examples.

Melanoma and other skin cancers can be caused by prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV radiation from the sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds.

People with fair skin, many moles, or a family history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer are at the most significant risk. Skin cancer can affect persons of various skin tones, even darker skin.

Workplace dangers

Because of their jobs, certain people are at risk of being exposed to cancer-causing substances. Workers in the chemical dye sector, for example, have been reported to have a greater than average chance of bladder cancer. Asbestos is a well-known source of cancer in the workplace, notably mesothelioma, cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.

Treatment of Cancer

Surgery

Surgery is performed to remove as much malignancy as it can.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells but it kills both normal cells and cancer cells.

Radiation therapy 

Radiation therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of radiation. Radiation therapy uses intense energy beams such as X-rays or protons to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be delivered from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation) or from within your body (internal beam radiation).

Transplantation of bone marrow

Bone marrow is found inside your bones that create blood cells from blood stem cells. Your bone marrow or a donor’s bone marrow stem cells can be used in a bone marrow transplant.

A bone marrow transplant permits your doctor to use higher chemotherapy doses to treat your cancer. It can also be used to replace damaged bone marrow.

Immunotherapy 

Immunotherapy, which is often known as biological therapy, is a cancer treatment that relies on the patient’s immune system. Cancer can grow unchecked in your body because your immune system does not recognize it as an invader. Immunotherapy can help your immune system detect and fight cancer.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is a type of hormone replacement therapy. Hormones in the body drive some cancers. Breast cancer and colon cancer are two examples of it, and they can be treated by hormone therapy. Cancer cells may stop developing if such hormones are removed from the body, or their effects are blocked.

Some Interesting Facts About Cancer

  • Every year, 10 million individuals die from cancer.
  • At least one-third of all common malignancies can be avoided.
  • Cancer is the world’s second-leading cause of death.
  • Cancer kills 70% of people in low-to-middle-income countries.
  • Millions of lives might be spared each year if preventive, early diagnosis, and treatment techniques were implemented.
  • Cancer is predicted to cost the global economy $1.16 trillion every year.

Role of UICC

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), an organization dedicated to raising global cancer awareness in cooperation with WHO and other international organizations.

The UICC’s world cancer campaign, which runs throughout the year and aims to raise cancer awareness by forming partnerships with health and cancer institutions, proposing educational activities, and creating public service announcements, uses world cancer day as a formal launching point for the announcement of new themes and the release of recent publications.

How to Celebrate World Cancer Day?

World cancer day is observed worldwide, including by the United Nations and governments of many countries. Many cities worldwide commemorate the day by lighting up prominent buildings and locations in orange and blue colors of world cancer day. The following are some ideas for how to celebrate world cancer day.

Share your message on social media

You can create your own personalized social media post with a unique message to raise cancer awareness and share it with the world.

Fundraising

About 70% of the deaths are caused in developing countries by cancer due to a lack of proper treatment. On world cancer day, you should raise funds for cancer patients in your town. If you cannot start a fundraiser, donate to some cancer research or cancer hospital.

Share inspiring stories

Share inspiring stories of cancer survivors with the world. It helps the people suffering from their worst days of cancer to get some ray of hope and motivation.

Wear a lavender ribbon

Wear a lavender ribbon to spread cancer awareness (other colors represent specific types of cancer).

Learn about cancer

Learn about cancer and its early signs and symptoms, and also share this information with your friends and family.

Organize events

Free cancer screenings, educational discussions about detecting the signs and symptoms of cancer, teaching public health professionals on how to detect cancer, and hosting live events on social media are among the events which should be planned for this day.

Shave your head

You could shave your head in solidarity with individuals who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment if you’re feeling brave.

Why is World Cancer Day Important?

World cancer day is important because cancer is one of the top causes of death worldwide. By 2030, the number of deaths will have risen to 13.2 million every year.

Funding for treatment

Cancer comes with a hefty financial cost. By 2030, the expense of cancer treatment is anticipated to reach USD 458 billion. This is a problem that every healthcare system must address. All patients need affordable access to high-quality modern drugs (many of which are still on a patent); patients, particularly in developing countries, should receive high-quality modern radiotherapy, which is more effective and well-tolerated than those in developing countries older-generation machines.

As a result, national cancer programs must have sufficient budgetary allocations for clinic and radiotherapy infrastructure, staff training, and the controlled availability of essential cancer drugs. It is critical to raise awareness of this issue on world cancer day. International organizations should organize funds for those who cannot afford medical treatment on this day.

Raise awareness

While all cancers are difficult to identify early, it is critical to integrate early detection programs into a comprehensive health program, which is more productive in the long run. This includes improving healthcare professionals’ education and dispelling public misconceptions about cancer and its treatment, and reducing the disease’s societal stigma.

World cancer day is important to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of common malignancies which could help shorten the delay between diagnosis and treatment, especially for childhood tumors.

The media and other stakeholders can play an essential role in providing and disseminating information about illness symptoms, cancer screening programs, and other pertinent health services.

Remove the stigma of cancer

Cancer can have a severe impact on a person’s mental health, employability, social standing, and sexual life, in addition to his physical health. It is critical to raise awareness about these difficulties, remove the social stigma associated with cancer, and create friendly workplaces for cancer survivors.

Patient support groups are critical in assisting patients in understanding and coping with their disease, its treatment, and its repercussions.

Encourage healthy lifestyles

People worldwide must be empowered to make healthy lifestyle choices on world cancer day. This is a critical requirement to meet the world cancer declaration’s aim of reducing death from noncommunicable illnesses to 25% by 2025.

Smoking is the most well-known risk factor for various malignancies, including leukemia, carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract, lungs, and urinary bladder.

On world cancer day, preventing individuals from smoking, raising awareness about smoking-related cancers, and gaining legal support such as banning smoking in public places and regulating tobacco-product advertising, are all approaches to achieve this goal.

Obesity and lack of exercise are two more lifestyle issues becoming more well acknowledged. On world cancer day, the sole goals are promoting healthier diets and encouraging activity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the importance of world cancer day?

World cancer day is an important international awareness day on the global health calendar that takes place every year on February 4th to unite the entire world in the fight against cancer under one flag. Every year, the day aspires to save millions of lives by educating people, raising awareness, and pressuring governments and individuals worldwide to act.

Is world cancer day a registered charity?

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a registered organization in Geneva, Switzerland, organizes world cancer day.

What is the official world cancer day color(s)?

Blue and orange are the official colors of world cancer day.

What is the color of the all-cancers ribbon?

A lavender ribbon is typically worn as a symbol of support for cancer patients of all varieties. People sometimes wear a rainbow of stripes or a multicolored ribbon to indicate the same thing.

When was world cancer day first celebrated?

The first World Summit Against Cancer, held in Paris in 2000, inspired the creation of world cancer day.

Final Thoughts

Today, it’s challenging to find someone who hasn’t been affected by cancer in some manner. World cancer day aims to celebrate the people fighting the disease and those who have succumbed to it.

This day is the commitment of determination to educate people about cancer and motivate them to take action so that many people in society will be cancer-free one day. World cancer day serves as a reminder that developments in cancer research, prevention, early detection, and treatment can help us to eliminate cancer.

World cancer day is observed worldwide because we recognize that we can only enhance cancer information and drive action by working together. Ultimately, we want to see a world where millions of cancer deaths are avoided, and everyone has access to life-saving research.\

Want to read about other important days in the month of February? Then click here.
Or if you want to read about important days of other months of the year, then check out “important days of the year” category.

Source : Krcmic.com

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