• Simply GenZ

Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Human cells grow and multiply through a process called “cell division”. Sometimes this orderly process breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t. These cells may form tumors, cancerous tumors spread into, or invade nearby tissues, and can travel to distant places in the body to form new tumors.

Types of cancer

There are more than 100 types of cancer. Types of cancer are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form.

  1. Carcinoma

  2. Leukemia

  3. Lymphoma

  4. Melanoma

What causes cancer:

  • Tobacco – According to a report by the World Health Organisation, tobacco use is the single most reason for cancer mortality and kills approximately 6 million people each year, from cancer and other diseases. Tobacco smoke has more than 7000 chemicals. At least 250 are known to be harmful. More than 50 have been classified as carcinogens( cancer-causing agents) by the International Agency on Research in Cancer.

  • Alcohol Use: The harmful use of alcohol is a serious health burden and the consumption of alcohol carries an adverse risk of chronic illnesses and social consequences related to its intoxicating property.

  • Infections: Certain bacteria and viruses can cause cancer. According to a report by the WHO, two-thirds of the infection-attributable cancers occur in the less-developed nations as compared to the developed ones.

  • Radiation:- Radiation of certain wavelengths, called ionizing radiation, increases the risk of various types of malignancy including leukemia and several solid tumors. Certain types of radiation have enough energy to damage DNA and cause cancer. Studies by the WHO mentions that ultraviolet radiation, particularly solar radiation, is carcinogenic to humans, causing all major types of skin cancers.

Signs and symptoms of cancer:

Here are some of the more common signs and symptoms that may be caused by cancer. However, any of these can be caused by other problems as well.

  • Headaches

  • Fever or nights sweats

  • Vision or hearing problems

  • Swelling or lumps anywhere in the body

  • Cough or hoarseness that does not go away

  • Unusual bleeding or bruising for no known reason

  • Thickening or lump in the breast or other part of the body

  • Mouth changes such as sores, bleeding, pain, or numbness

  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better with rest

  • Weight loss or gain of 10 pounds or more for no known reason

  • Pain, especially new or with no known reason, that doesn’t go away or gets worse

  • Eating problems such as not feeling hungry, trouble swallowing, belly pain, or nausea and vomiting

  • Bladder changes such as pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or needing to pass urine more or less often

  • Change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea, that doesn’t go away or a change in how your stools look

  • Skin changes such as a lump that bleeds or turns scaly, a new mole or a change in a mole, a sore that does not heal, or a yellowish color to the skin or eyes (jaundice)

The signs and symptoms listed above are the more common ones seen with cancer, but many others are not listed here. If you notice any major changes in the way your body works or the way you feel – especially if it lasts for a long time or gets worse – let a doctor know. If it has nothing to do with cancer, the doctor can find out more about what’s going on and, if needed, treat it. If it is cancer, you’ll give yourself the chance to have it treated early, when treatment is more successful

Why is cancer awareness important:

Because the incidence of cancer is rapidly increasing, it is critical to increase cancer literacy and knowledge among the general public. It will be many years before we understand all of the causes of cancer's complexity, and we may never be able to reverse the lives of those affected by cancer; however, we can work to identify cancer as early as possible and assist in empowering individuals and families to get an early diagnosis followed by intervention.

  • Create cancer awareness remove the fear and stigma attached

  • Help people recognize the early signs and symptoms of cancer, thus enabling them to seek treatment at an early stage.

  • Educate people about the key risk factors, since more than 30% of cancer cases could be prevented by modifying lifestyle or avoiding the risk factors.

  • Inform people about the importance of regular screening and check-ups.

  • Inform women about mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exam.

  • Inform women about Pap smear tests to check for signs of cervical cancer.