World Cancer Day is on the 4th of February. This annual event is observed internationally and is dedicated to raising awareness and opening discussion about cancer. It is aimed at saving millions of preventable deaths each year by educating and encouraging individuals to act.
According to the following Statistics from Cancer Research UK more than 360 000 new cases are diagnosed in the UK per year – this means that almost every 2 minutes someone is told they have cancer. The survival rate on average is 50% of all cases diagnosed and treated but it varies greatly between different types of cancer. Of all the cases diagnosed 38% (or 1 in 4) of them are classed as preventable. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to a positive prognosis.
Reducing the risk of Cancer:
Lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on reducing your risk of developing a preventable cancer:
- Follow a healthy diet
- Lose weight if needed
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol intake
- Prevent sunburn
Attend screening tests:
- If you are registered with a GP you will automatically be invited for screening tests as and when they become applicable. Attend these. In the UK screening is offered for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. Early diagnosis plays a huge role in the effectiveness of treatment.
Know what signs to look for and don’t hesitate to contact your GP about them:
- According to Macmillan some of the signs to look out for are any lumps anywhere on your body, sores or ulcers that don’t heal over a period of three weeks, moles that change shape, size, colour, bleed or crust over, unexplained weight loss, tiredness, bleeding or pains, changes to your bowel habit. Most of the time, these changes aren’t due to cancer but it’s always better to be safe and get it checked. ( Further reading can be done here: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/diagnosing/causes-and-risk-factors/potential-causes-of-cancer/age-lifestyle-diet-reducing-risk.html#20205)
Cancer Research UK: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/
NHS choices: https://www.nhs.uk/