In India, the incidence of cancer is increasing rapidly; therefore, cancer awareness is important to increase literacy and knowledge about cancer among the population. We hope that this will lead to early detection that is important in cancer management and treatment and also to prevention by making the necessary lifestyle changes.
Breast cancer is increasing rapidly among urban women and is the most common cancer in India. Early uncovering is essential in its management and treatment. Due to ignorance, fear, and social stigma, many women develop stage III or IV cancer that requires surgery and extensive treatment. If caught early, in most cases there will be less aggressive treatment and better chances of recovery.
Cervical cancer is the additional most common cancer among women in India. It is the only preventable cancer and can be detected in the precancerous stage and cured. Oral and lung cancers are higher among men and women in urban and rural populations and can also be largely prevented. Therefore, it is of great importance to make people aware of the dangers of chewing tobacco and smoking.
Are you aware?
Rendering to the World Health Organization, at smallest a third of all cancer cases are preventable. Take a free cancer risk test to identify behaviors that can cause cancer and ways to lower your risk.
Here are additional ways and Cancer awareness details you can lower your chances of developing cancer.
Tobacco: Tobacco use is the highest avoidable risk of cancer mortality worldwide. Tobacco is related to many types of cancer, counting cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix. If you use tobacco products and want to quit smoking, Cancer awareness is available. Contact the Student Welfare and Engagement office for more information on how to quit smoking.
Alcohol: Investigation suggests that the risk of cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Some people think that certain types of alcohol are “safer” than others, but this is not true because ethanol is found in all alcoholic beverages (ie beer, wine, liquor, and spirits). When looking at the link between alcohol and cancer, the amount of alcohol drunk over time, not the type of drink, appears to be the most important factor in increasing cancer risk.
Various sources recommend that you limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. For more information on alcohol, contact the Office of Student Welfare and Engagement.
Physical activity: Regular physical activity will greatly reduce the risk of cancer, as there is a link between being overweight and obesity with many types of cancer. Physical activity is anything that gets you moving! The CDC mentions that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. To some, it may seem like a lot, but you can achieve this by taking a 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week. For more information, read the CDC’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Dietary factors: Diet (what you eat or don’t eat) is linked to some types of cancer, but the exact reasons are not yet clear. The American Cancer Society recommends the following diet to help reduce the risk of cancer:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains over refined grains and sugars
- Limited red meat (i.e. beef, pork, and lamb)
- Limited processed meat (i.e. bacon, cold cuts, and hot dogs)
Cancer awareness, participation after treatment
While some people prefer to put their cancer experiences behind them after finishing treatment, many choose to take advantage of what they have been through to get involved in cancer-related activities. They may feel that there are certain areas or problems where there is more work to be done. Or maybe someone helped and inspired them during treatment and they feel like it’s their turn to give to others.
Whether it’s learning how to help your neighbors, joining an educational group, walking or running in a race like Steppin ‘Out in Pink in Gundersen, or joining a group that makes decisions about cancer research or programs, the options are endless.
Get a comprehensive booklet of ideas on ways you can give to others, provided by the National Cancer Institute. It is written for anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer or affected by it in any way. There are many options for people to choose from: providing support, helping with outreach and education, fundraising, and raising awareness about research or public health issues.
The importance of raising cancer awareness
Normally when we hear the “C” word “cancer”, it is something we do not like to talk about as it affects the lives of so many people, however, it is very important that we speak and raise cancer awareness. If we don’t talk, how are we going to fight cancer?
The proportion of cancers caused by inherited faulty genes is small. Experts estimate that only about 2 or 3 out of 100 cancers are related to inherited genetic flaws. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 cancers can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes. Here is information about the causes and ways to lower your risk of cancer.
Of smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of cancer. It is related to lung, mouth, and throat cancer.
Ways to reduce risk:
- Start by even reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke
- Talk to a doctor
Obesity: Obesity is the second leading cause of cancer after smoking. Excess fat in the body can have harmful effects, such as producing hormones and growth factors that affect the way our cells function.
Ways to reduce risk:
- Start small and try a 15-minute walk a day or even put together a walking group; This can make a huge difference to both your physical and mental health.
- Find an activity that you enjoy doing
- See ways to eat healthier
Alcohol: Alcohol acts as an irritant. It damages cells and causes changes in the DNA of cells that can be a step towards cancer.
Ways to reduce risk:
- Decide on a limit
- Tell a friend that you are cutting back, they may support you
Sun: Overexposure to ultraviolet rays can reason skin cancer. This is one of the most common types of cancer, but also one of the most preventable.
Ways to reduce risk:
- Wear sunscreen and a hat in hot weather
- Try to limit your exposure to the sun by staying in the shade