Today is a special day !! Participate & Act !
Today 04TH FEBRUARY is a special day for many people in the
world all over. It is very important for 18 million people of last year, 19
million more people this year and has been important to many millions of
people so far. It will be important to increasing numbers each year and the
future generations to come. This is not like other celebration days when
gifts, cards, greetings are exchanged, and festivities happen. There are
no crackers, to burst or flowers to distribute. There are no special treats
or foods or parties. There is no exchange of hugs, greetings or messages
or tell jokes about. It is not a day to pay tributes to some heroes, celebrate
festival or an event either.
This is the day to remind ourselves, of the looming danger over all
us today and for our next generations in the future. It did not and will not
spare anyone irrespective of richness, literacy, status, position,
profession, country, race, religion, age, or gender. This menace has
quietly victimized many in the past and will victimize many more in future.
When victimized, in the victims there is agony, pain, anguish, anger,
frustration, tears and many a times victory too!!
The so-called development, industrialization, innovations of all kinds
of machines, new chemicals, environmental changes, have facilitated a
change in our lifestyles and habits. From laborious, active, simple past
routine in a pure environment, we hopped into to an industrious,
machinery, inactive routine in a polluted environment. We added on many
artificial, chemical and unknowingly hazardous things in our life.
Unfortunately, the development of the society has led to development of
an unseen giant of non-communicable diseases- diabetes, obesity, high
blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes and of course cancer.
The change in our lifestyle has just not changed our diet, habits, way
of living, appearances, behaviours but penetrated into the very deep and
ultimate core of our beings — the genes. These changes in genes have
brought in a tendency of indiscipline in our cells, total autonomy, tendency
to ignore the natural calls for control, and body limits. They have learnt to
grow uncontrollably, cross all limits, borders and spread anywhere, drain
the body energy and mass to the least possible and ultimately cessation
of life. Identifying and control of these cells requires a lot of energy,
strategies, medicines, rays and skills almost with military precision. This
is possible but when done at the right time and manner.
Yes, you have guessed it right, we are talking about cancer! Please
don’t stop reading ! it is very much relevant to you ! Even you could be a
victim tomorrow! Would like to remind you of innocent young men and
women who are victims of cancer as the wise and elderly. We are seeing
more younger people than ever before. Am I not reminded of a 14 year
old boy with a stage 4 colon cancer or a 23 year old young girl with breast
cancer ! Visit any oncologist’s clinics all over India, more stories will pour
Friends, today 4th February is world cancer day. World Cancer Day
is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite
together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. What do we do
on this day and thereafter? Not just talk or read and forget or make it a
point to mention! There is a need for each of us in this world, irrespective
of whatever we are or wherever we are to learn, plan, act and change.
Gain knowledge about cancer, and spread it ! To make people aware of
cancer, its impact on an individual and his family and society.
So what do we learn about cancer? Simple. It is a life style disease
as is diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity etc. Therefore it is very much
preventable, simply by adopting healthy lifestyle. Eat lots of fruits,
vegetables, avoid red meat and processed meat, maintain ideal body
weight, exercise well, don’t use tobacco, follow healthy sexual habits,
vaccinate against infections, and let mothers breast feed the new born.
It is possible to detect cancer early. Look out for lumps and
unexplained and unusual symptoms. Consult your physician or local
hospital or cancer centre. Consult oncologists for family cancers or if there
is a doubt. It is possible to treat and cure cancers. Let the oncologists
handle and treat promptly and correctly. Talking of costs! Yes for those
who can’t manage on their own, there are many ways to manage them.
Several government hospitals, offices, NGOs, hospitals provide free care
and financial assistance. Just guide them! For the young, healthy and self sufficient,there is a small piece of advice. The way you have insured your
bike or car, insure for your and family’s health! They are more important
than your car or bike!
There are several myths about the cancer. That it is incurable, it is
infectious, it is a curse, starvation can cure cancer, biopsy or surgery will
spread it, chemotherapy kills the patients, and so on. Bust these myths !
They are dangerous and keep the people from doing right things. More
important, don’t spread rumours or wrong, unauthenticated, unproven
information! When you confront some information or message first check,
find out, question rather than blindly believing it and forwarding it! Don’t
be a victim or let someone become a victim of unauthentic information!
Let us come to some hard facts. About 18 million people are
diagnosed in the world with cancer each year and 1.3 million in India.
These join the vast cancer world of 30 million. The numbers are likely to
go up by at least 50 % by 2040. It is the second common cause of death
in the world but responsible for most expensive economic toll. The total
direct cost of cancer in the world, in 2008 was approximately 895 billion
US dollars, representing 1.5 % world GDP. Indirect costs can be imagined
to wildest extent. Give this figure the inflation and increase of 25%
absolute increase in numbers of cancer patients in last decade.
Calculators may stop working!!
I am sure you would have got up to do something for caner today
and from today onwards. Take more people and join as a force to fight
cancer. Start today, on the world cancer day and let some time in your life
be devoted to it. One does not have to worry about resources for this work.
Visit https://www.worldcancerday.org/materials of UICC, the world
organization for cancer, which observes the world cancer day on 04th
February each year. India is an active member of this organization. You
can join it free as an individual or with your friends or team or organization.
Obtain the material, learn, and spread the messages. You too say “I am
and I will” with the world !. Get involved in any way. Because together we
can bring the change. Let us all dream and work for a ‘cancer free world’
– for us, our future generations, by preventing cancer, detecting early,
treating cancer. Bust the myths and spread the awareness.
Dr Ranga Rao Rangaraju,
Senior director, Medical Oncology,
Max Institute of Cancer care,
Max Superspeciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh,