Cancer can be prevented too
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. Each year, over 12 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and 7.6 million die of the disease.
According to the Bangladesh Cancer Society, more than one million people have been suffering from cancer at present. In Bangladesh, each year, approximately 0.3 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and over 0.2 million die of the disease. The good news is that a major portion of cancers are potentially preventable.
World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, which responds to the Charter of Paris adopted at the World Summit for the New Millennium on February 4, 2000. It called for a strong alliance between researchers, health-care professionals, patients, governments, industry partners and the media to fight against cancer. The Charter of Paris designated February 4 each year as World Cancer Day. The International Union against Cancer (UICC) Initiated the World Cancer Campaign in 2005 in response to the Charter of Paris of 2000.
The campaign emphasises that 43% of cancers can be prevented through the following healthy behaviors:
* Provide a smoke –free environment for children
* Be physically active, eat a balanced, healthy diet and avoid obesity
* Learn about vaccines for virus –related liver and cervical cancers
* Avoid over –exposure to the sun
World Cancer day is a global observance. This Day is marked to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and early treatment.
World Cancer Day 2010, led by UICC members and with the support of the WHO will raise awareness of cancer prevention. World Cancer Day targets the public through global communications encouraging policy makers to make cancer a political priority to prevent cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients are recurring themes.
This year's theme — "Cancer can be prevented too" focuses on simple measures to prevent cancer are as:
* No tobacco use
* A healthy diet and regular exercise
* Limited alcohol use
* Protection against cancer causing infections
This year's theme focuses on how the risk of developing cancer can significantly be reduced through simple measures.
The writer is the President of Bangladesh Cancer Society and Director, National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital. Mohakhali, Dhaka.