National Cancer Awareness Day is annually observed across India on November 7 to emphasise the importance of the disease and raise awareness about its diagnosis, treatment, and early identification.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
i. A lavender ribbon is commonly used to show support for cancer patients of all types.
ii. More than 50 cancer ribbons represent various cancers and other associated conditions.
- Pink ribbon- breast cancer awareness.
- Yellow ribbon- Bone cancer.
i. Dr Harsh Vardhan, the former Indian Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, declared in September 2014 that November 7 of each year would be observed as National Cancer Awareness Day to raise awareness about early detection and the avoidance of cancer-causing behaviours.
ii. The 1st National Cancer Awareness Day was observed on 7th November 2014.
Note: National Cancer Awareness Day coincides with the birth anniversary of the Nobel Prize winner (for Physics in 1903), Marie Curie (Marie Salomea Skłodowska–Curie, 1867), a scientist from Poland.
i. Cancer is a condition that occurs when your body’s cells divide at a greater pace than normal. These abnormal cells combine to form a bulge or tumour.
- It is a group of more than 100 different diseases, which can develop almost anywhere in the body.
ii. According to the WHO, it is the world’s second-biggest cause of death, and it estimates 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
Some of the Common Preventions:
- Keeping a healthy weight,
- Avoiding tobacco,
- Limiting the amount of alcohol,
- Protecting your skin.
The importance of early detection:
i. The importance of early cancer detection is that it can be detected early when it is in its early stages. This can improve therapy effectiveness and reduce death.
ii. Some of the Cancer signs and symptoms are:
- lumps or growths on the body
- unexplained weight loss
- night sweats
Annual Report of Cancer Cases in India:
i. Annually, over 1.1 million new cases of cancer are reported in India.
ii. In India, dietary habits may be responsible for about 10% to 20% of cancers.
iii. Tobacco use is linked to 35% to 50% of all cancers in men and approximately 17% of cancers in women.
India’s Cancer Prevention Efforts:
i. National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP)- Started in 1981 as a long-term project of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with a network of cancer registries around the country.
ii. The National Cancer Control Program (NCCP)- Started in 1976, and initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
iii. The National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR)- It was established by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1979 as the Cytology Research Centre (CRC), and it was promoted to the level of an Institute in 1989.
About the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister- Mansukh Mandaviya (Rajya Sabha- Gujarat)
Minister of State- Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar (Constituency- Dindori, Maharashtra)