February 4, is observed as World Cancer Day, across the world with an aim to promote cancer awareness and reduce global cancer burden.
One of the nine targets of World Cancer Declaration, Nixing myths and misconceptions attached to the dreaded disease is the theme for this year. The declaration, an effort to call upon the policy makers, government leaders and other stakeholders, was passed in 2013.
We take a look at four myths that were identified by the declaration as the most propagated ones.
Myth 1: We don’t need to talk about cancer.
Truth: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level.
Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer.
Truth: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable.
Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer.
Truth: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level, and with the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.
Myth 4: I don’t have the right to cancer care.
Truth: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence.
n Here are a few numbers to juggle as identified by the National Cancer Registry of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
n Nearly 5,00,000 people die of cancer every year.
n Tobacco consumption accounts to 40 per cent of cancer cases in the country.
n Cancers of the lungs and oral cavity are common among male.
n Over 70,000 women die of cervical cancer every year.
n Nearly 2,30,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported in 2013.