Yes, cancer is preventable like so many other diseases e.g.Diabetes, high B.P, Heart disease or Infectious diseases. Generally cancer is considered a dreadful disease which leads to lot of suffering and pain and inevitable death. However, outlook is no longer so bleak with recent advances in diagnosis and available treatment. This has lead to early detection and even cure in certain cancers. Now we have large no. of cancer survivors and cured patients.
It is common knowledge that incidence of cancer is increasing all over the world. It is second only to heart disease among Non-Communicable diseases.
It is estimated that India is likely to have more than 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer every year and 8.8 lakh deaths due to caner by Year 2020.This is a huge number and a big burden on the health and economy of our developing nation. But if look at the positive side, close to 60% of cancers in India are preventable.
Tobacco use is the single most cause of cancer in our people. Almost 40% of all cancers in our country are attributed to Tobacco use. Smoking in the form of Bidis,Cigarettes or Hookah leads to lung cancer. Cancer of Mouth, Lips Throat and Food Pipe are due to use of chew able Tobacco be it Khaini, Pan or Zarda etc. Infections like Hepatitis B can cause cancer of liver and Papilloma virus infection can cause cancer of cervix in females.
Also excessive consumption of processed foods like Red meats and Alcohol can cause cancer of Gastrointestinal tract. Air pollutants are another major triggers for certain types of cancers in our country. Adoption of so called modern life style with increasing consumption of refined sugars and processed foods and pollution are adding to the disease burden. Use of adulterants and preservatives in food articles is a significant contributor to cancers of Digestive system and Liver.
Therefore, we must initiate urgent steps to curtail this burden and prevent the increasing incidence of cancer in our population. We must stop Tobacco use, get proper vaccinations for Hepatitis and Papilloma virus, cut down Alcohol consumption and adopt healthier life style.
Cancer screening of vulnerable population on wide scale can go a long way in early detection of cases in initial stage which can be easily treated.
Therefore, we must not be afraid of cancer but take proper preventive measures and adopt healthy life style and undertake screening for early detection of cancer in general population.
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