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World Cancer Day: Cancer will be the most common killer by 2020

04 February 2009
By Syed Amir Mian
Aligarh, India

World Cancer Day World Cancer Day
Cancer is one of the leading killers in today’s world. The latest WHO report states that cancer will be the most common killer by 2020. Developing countries like ours will have 75% of the burden of World Cancer patients by 2020. To tackle this problem WHO, UICC (International Union for Cancer Control) and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority) have declared 4th Feb as the World Cancer Day. The objective of this day is to create awareness among people that Cancer is treatable. Early detection and prevention is the hallmark of cancer, said by Prof. Shahid A. Siddiqui, Chairman, Department of Radiotherapy, AMU while addressing the World Cancer Day organized ay JN Medical College.

Prof. Siddiqui said that the target of cancer is the youth who are most vulnerable to developing unhealthy life style like smoking and eating junk food which promotes carcinogenesis. He said that our aim is to decrease the incidence of cancer by 2011 and to instill in the minds of people that simple changes in habits can prevent cancers. In India the more common cancers include oral cavity cancers, breast cancers, cervical cancer, lung cancer and various gastro intestinal malignancies. Most notable feature of these cancers is that most of these are preventable and completely curable if detected early.

Prof. Shahid A. Siddiqui further said that Cancers are on the rise mainly due to smoking and obesity which themselves are largely controllable. You should suspect cancers if you develop sudden changes in bowel and bladder habit, develop nagging cough, feel any lump or thickness any where in the body, suffer from unusual bleeding from natural orifices or suffer from persistent indigestion, non healing ulcer etc. He said that early diagnosis is the best bet to save the patient especially in countries like India. Early diagnosis will also prove to be cost effective both to the patient and to the country’s economy as treatment is of shorter duration and shows best prognosis.

Prof. Siddiqui said that simple preventive measures like avoiding alcohol intake and smoking, keeping check on your weight, eating lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits and avoiding unnecessary exposure to sunlight can prevent cancers to a large extent. Going for regular medical check ups and undergoing simple screening tests like pap smear can be helpful in early diagnosis and cure of cancers in women. Women can also do self breast examination at home to check for any lump.

Prof. Siddiqui said that in a nutshell, we can defeat cancer by simply being aware of how it can be prevented and believing that cancer is treatable.

He further said that the Dept. of Radiotherapy, JNMC offers advice on all sorts of diagnostic and treatment facilities for various cancers. Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and Surgery for cancer treatment is also available at the Department. Prof. Siddiqui said that consultation/information can be obtained from the department during working hours. He urged the people to help the Department of Radiotherapy in overcoming the evil called CANCER.

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