Did you know that cancer is one of the most common causes of death in the world today?
For instance, the American Cancer Society, in a recent report affirmed that cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US and accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
More so, over 575,000 people die of cancer, and more than 1.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer per year in the US.
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As of 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that, worldwide, there were 14 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in the same year.
Did you know that cancer doesn’t only lead to a loss of productivity? If you know, good! But if you don’t, permit me to tell you that cancer is also one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
According to WHO figures, each year, 8.8 million people die from cancer, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.
2017 World Cancer Day
The 2017 World Day was celebrated on February 4, 2017. The international annual event is marked to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
The primary goals of the World Cancer Day are to significantly minimize illness and death caused by cancer by 2020, reduce stigma and raise awareness about the deadly disease.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) founded the World Cancer Day to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, which was written in 2008. It is observed by United Nation Members.
New Guidelines For Cancer
On the eve of the 2017 World Cancer Day, WHO announced that three steps would be needed if the fight against cancer must be won. They include:
- Improving public awareness of different cancer symptoms and making sure people rush to doctors when they identify these symptoms.
- Making sure people living with cancer can access safe and effective treatment without financial constraints.
- Equipping health services and training health workers so they can conduct accurate and timely diagnostics.
Many of us know what cancer is – ‘literally’. Many know cancer as a dangerous disease that is accompanied by severe pains and all that.
But in this article, I will take you on the simplest definition of cancer, its causes, who’s mostly at risk of being affected and all what not. Let’s get down.
What is Cancer?
Simply put, cancer is an abnormal growth of cells which tend to spread in an uncontrolled way in the body. Cancer is the Latin word for crab.
Cancer may also be called malignancy, a malignant tumour, or a neoplasm (literally, a new growth).
Funny enough, cancer is not just a single disease, rather it is a group of about 100 different and distinctive diseases.
How Does Cancer Form?
Cancer begins to develop in a body immediately a programmed cell begins to die. Cell growth in the body is called apoptosis.
So once apoptosis process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death, instead, they continue to grow and divide. This subsequently leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.
Who Are Susceptible To Cancer?
Research and statistics showed that tobacco users, people who don’t feed well – especially on balance diet – people who hardly go out for exercise are easily susceptible to succumbing to the disease.
There are said to be over 200 different types of cancer. The most common cancers include; Anal cancer, Bladder cancer, Bone cancer, Breast cancer, Cervical cancer, Colon cancer, Colorectal cancer, Endometrial cancer, Kidney cancer, Leukemia, Liver cancer, Lymphoma, Ovarian cancer, lung cancer, prostate and Pancreatic cancer.
The most common sites of cancer among men are lungs, prostate, colon, rectum, stomach and liver.
The most common sites of cancer among women are breast, colon, rectum, lungs, cervix and stomach.
In as much as we don’t want to see ourselves or loved ones succumb to this deadly disease, there is hope for prospective victims – much thanks to refined plans on ground against the disease.
A report released by the cancer.gov indicated that as of 2014, the number of people who survived their cancer diagnosis exceeded 14 million.
However, the World Health Organization has predicted that by 2026, the number of people who would survive this disease could cross 20 million.
Cancer And Age
Age plays a big role in the increase of possible cancer-causing mutations in our DNA. Hence, this makes age an important risk factor for cancer.
Some viruses and other immune-weakeners linked to cancer include; human papillomavirus (a cause of cervical cancer), hepatitis B and C (causes of liver cancer), and Epstein-Barr virus (a cause of some childhood cancers )Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Why Do Cancer Cells Spread?
A report contained in Nature Communications of October 2012, indicated that the proliferation of cancer is primarily because of their adhesive (stickiness) properties.
This makes it possible for them to dislodge, move on and then reattach themselves at a new site once they get stuck to the original tumour site.
Spread the news, encourage your folks to constantly check themselves because early detection of cancer saves.