In India, November 7 is recognized as National Cancer Awareness Day. The day emphasizes the need to raise public awareness of cancer prevention and early detection. The national cancer control program was initiated in 1975 to provide cancer treatment facilities in the country. Each year, India reports over 1.1 million new cases. The possibility that patients will survive is decreased since two-thirds of cancer diagnoses are made at an advanced stage. Numerous initiatives have been made to boost studies on cancer prevention and early detection. On this significant day, Dr. Ravinder Singh Rao‘s assistance was crucial in informing the public about the prevention, early detection, and management of this fatal illness. His compassionate and knowledgeable attitude continues to motivate people and groups to join the fight against cancer, making National Cancer Awareness Day 2023 a crucial turning point in the ongoing effort to spread awareness and save lives.
History of National Cancer Awareness Day
The first National Cancer Awareness Day was established in September 2014 by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. This was carried out to enhance early cancer detection and deter people from leading cancer-promoting lifestyles. Harsh Vardhan launched a state-level cancer control, encouraging early detection into curing of cancer. As part of National Cancer Awareness Day, complimentary screenings are provided by the CGHS, local clinics, and government hospitals. Additionally, informational pamphlets are distributed to raise awareness of cancer prevention and early symptoms.
In 1975, the National Cancer Control Program was initiated to provide cancer treatment facilities in India. The program was changed from 1984–1985 to give emphasis to cancer prevention and early detection. On November 7—the date of the Nobel Prize–winning scientist Madame Curie’s birth—National Cancer Awareness Day is honored. Marie Curie, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1867, is most known for discovering radium and polonium and for making a significant contribution to the fight against cancer. Her research has influenced the development of radiotherapy and nuclear energy as cancer treatments.
Each year, almost 1.1 million new cases in India are reported. In India, a woman is thought to pass away from cervical cancer every eight minutes. In 2018, smoking and using smokeless tobacco contributed to 3,17,928 deaths in both men and women.
National Cancer Awareness Day Timeline
- 1867 (The Birth of a Genius): Marie Currie is a famous scientist who was born in Warsaw, Poland. She is most known for her contributions to the creation of nuclear energy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Her birthdate is celebrated as National Cancer Awareness Day in India.
- 1911 (Nobel prize winner): Marie Currie won a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her contributions to the field of radioactivity.
- 1975 (Cancer detection programs launched): The National Cancer Control Programme was established to offer cancer treatment facilities in India.
- 2014 (The importance of cancer awareness): The Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, first declares National Cancer Awareness Day.
- 2018 (Scary statistics): According to India’s Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan, smoking can cause cancer, which contributes to 3,17,928 fatalities of both men and women from tobacco use each year.
How to Observe National Cancer Awareness
- Get a screening: Early cancer detection can save lives. Make sure to schedule a test appointment each year. Cancer screening and detection services are available in the cities of Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Indore, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kochi, Kolkata, Kottayam, Madurai, Mumbai, Mohali, Nagpur, Pathankot, Palakkad, Pondicherry, Sangli, Pune, Surat, Trichy, Tirunelveli, and Vellore.
- Inform friends and family about early detection: On National Cancer Awareness Day, focus on educating individuals you care about cancer prevention. To spread knowledge about cancer prevention and how to spot early symptoms, look online or distribute an informational leaflet.
- Read up about Marie Currie: In honor of Marie Currie’s birthday, November 7 is designated as National Cancer Awareness Day every year. The scientist, who was born in 1867, is renowned for her outstanding work that helped create nuclear energy and radiotherapy as treatments for cancer. Remember to mention her science-related Nobel Prizes.
Facts About Cancer Awareness
- Preventable Cancer Statistics: According to experts, 70% of cancers in India are thought to be caused by preventable factors, of which 40% are linked to tobacco use, 20% to infections, and 10% to unrelated causes.
- Women and Cancer in India: One woman in India passes away from Cervical cancer every eight minutes. In India, one woman passed away from breast cancer for every two newly diagnosed patients.
- High Death Rates: Almost 50% of cancers are detected at late stages in India due to illiteracy, fear, lack of awareness, and taboos.
- Cancer Claiming Lives: According to WHO, around 9.6 million people worldwide died from cancer in 2018, with India accounting for about 8.17% of those deaths.
- Tobacco Increase Cancer Risk: The Lancet research on cancer claims that smoking is a risk factor for 14 different types of cancer and that it is the second leading cause of death in India after heart disease.
Why National Cancer Awareness Day is Important
- Death Rates are High in India: The incidence of cancer in India is significantly lower than in Western countries, but death rates are greater because of late discovery for a variety of reasons. To preserve lives, it is crucial to increase and disseminate awareness of this fatal illness.
- Women Must Get Tested for Breast Cancer: In India, one woman dies of breast cancer for every two women who receive a new diagnosis. This alarming trend underscores the need to know how to spot it early on. Self-breast exams should be performed periodically by women at home, seven days before and after menstruation. Check for any changes in the breasts’ size, shape, or position while standing in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Make an appointment with your doctor and schedule regular testing if you have any concerns.
- Preventing Cancer-Causing Lifestyles: The goal of National Cancer Awareness Day is to raise awareness of early detection and the need to avoid adopting cancer-causing habits. According to a Lancet investigation, smoking increases one’s risk of developing 14 different forms of cancer. Other causes include drug use, alcohol, and poor diet. The second most frequent disease in women, cervical cancer is also mostly caused by unsafe sex. The high risk of lung cancer is also due to air pollution and tobacco use and air pollution. It’s crucial to spread awareness about cancer and educate yourself on any lifestyle adjustments you might need to make to help protect yourself and your loved ones against the disease.