Health

World Cancer Day 2014 – Debunk the Myths

Every year, February 4 is celebrated as World Cancer Day. It is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) under which it promotes and educates people about cancer. The theme of World Cancer Day 2014 is 'Debunk the Myths'.

As per WHO (World Health Organization), in 2012 8.2 million people lost their lives due to cancer. Lung, liver, stomach, colorectal and breast cancers cause the maximum number of death. About 30 percent of cancer deaths are because of five leading behavioral and dietary risks, which are, high body mass index(BMI), low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use.

Doctors have maintained that cancer can be cured if it is detected and treated in its early stages of development. But due to lack of awareness and knowledge people ignore the signs and symptoms of cancer, which becomes life threatening for them.

So, focusing on to the theme of this year's 'World Cancer Day', here we are debunking the myths about cancer:

Myth 1: we do not need to talk about cancer:

For most of the people, the news of cancer detection comes as shock, fear, loneliness and anxiety. Talking about cancer to friends, family members and support groups help alleviate this feeling. We all should talk and disseminate knowledge about cancer as it may help people to live better with cancer in community or society.

In many societies, cancer patients are discriminated and therefore, there are apprehensive about coming out in the open about the same. And staying mum about cancer usually leads to a delay in the process of treatment.

So, UICC encourages people to talk more about cancer. Talking about cancer may help you or someone you know who has cancer in living a happy life.

Myth 2. There are no sign and symptoms of cancer:

Though this statement may be true for some forms of cancers but there are many cancers that do provide warning signs. However, we should be alert enough to recognize these signs and undergo further test (if necessary) to be sure of the disease. The benefit of early detection is indisputable in some type of cancers such as breast cancer, oral cancer, skin, colorectal cancer and the likes.

Recognition of early warning signs of some cancers is particularly relevant in low resource settings - it is cost-effective and in some cases does not require any specialist diagnostic technologies. For example clinical breast examination (CBE), Pap smear, etc.

Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer:

You need to wake up to the fact that we are not living in stone age. There are plenty of advancements in healthcare over the past few years and with proper care and attention people can fight even a ghastly disease like cancer.


Myth 4: I don't have the right to cancer care:

Every person should have equal rights to the latest in cancer care (or for that matter any other ailment). Many times, people do not receive adequate treatment because of poverty or inaccessibility. However, it is necessary that countries ensure that equal treatment is made available to all cancer patients irrespective of their socioeconomic background.

It is the time to educate people and increase awareness about cancer among the people to make our country cancer free.

Debunk The Myths| worldcancerday.org



Photo by: Thinstock Images
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