With Valentine’s Day on the fourteenth, February is known as the month of love. However, many are unaware that February the fourth is World Cancer Day.
The following information comes from the official World Cancer Day website. “A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.”
The trillions of cells in our bodies reproduce and due at a normal rate. However, cancer develops when abnormal cells begin to multiply too quickly. The overgrowth can cause the cells to damage each other and invade other areas of the body. Because of this, Cancer can cause serious health complications and even death.
According to BayCare Health, Cancer can be broken into five main categories. Firstly is carcinoma: cancer that begins in the tissues of the skin. Second are central nervous system cancers, which are cancers that begin in the brain or spinal cord. Third is leukemia: cancer that begins in the blood or blood forming tissues. Fourthly is lymphoma and myeloma which are cancers that begin in the lymph nodes and bone marrow, respectively. Lastly is Sarcoma, which is a cancer that begins in the bone or muscle tissue.
Nowadays, there are over a hundred different types of cancer, characterized by abnormal cell growth. Some of the more prominent types of cancer are breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, and skin cancer to name a few. Some are easier to avoid or prevent. For example, many young adults enjoy sun tanning. While exposure to the sun is necessary for healthy development, too much exposure to UV light can actually cause serious problems. This is why many people are advised against the use of tanning beds.
The American Cancer Society estimates “about half of men and one-third of women in the United States will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.”
Population-based studies have found that certain ethnicities and races are prone to specific kinds of cancer. Because of this, prescreening and early detection is essential to help patients ensure long-term survival as opposed to people who wait until the symptoms are visible. For example, cervical cancer decreased dramatically as soon as Pap testing became a common practice. Researchers are now studying ways to improve the use of and access of proven screening methods, to avoid overdiagnosis and overtreatement.
“As of right now 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years)” says the World Cancer Day website.
World Cancer Day is a great initiative which helps bring attention to the disease which has taken has taken the lives of too many people.