“A little awareness can go a long way in preventing cancer”
Cancer is a major public health concern in India and has now become one of the leading causes of death in the country. As per WHO Report 2005, the estimated cancer deaths in India are projected to increase to 7 lakh by 2015. According to World Economic Forum (WEF), cancer is among one of the three greatest risks to the global economy due to escalating cost of care, the threat to productivity from death and disability and the effects of costs on household impoverishment.
Cancer is a dreaded disease. All too often, when the doctor utters the word 'cancer', what the patient hears is "you are dying". The fact is it need not be so. The fear often arises out of ignorance and misconceptions, rather than any reality. Through its work at grass-root level, Serve Samman came to realize that one of the main problems in India, in the control of cancer was lack of knowledge about lifestyles and societal practices that caused 70 per cent of its occurrence.
The three most common fatal cancers in men are oral, stomach and lung. For women, cervical, stomach and breast are the most dangerous.
Cigarette smoking and chewing pan, tobacco and guthka are the main reasons behind oral and lung cancer in men. A woman over the age of 35 years giving birth to her first child doubles her risk of getting breast cancer.
We realized that people needed to be told cancer was preventable, detectable at an early stage, and curable if treated promptly.
As part of our preventive programme, in association with Dharmashila Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, we regularly hold lectures and Cancer Awareness Camps at various sites for the weaker sections of the society to detect early symptoms of cancer to treat them effectively. The lecture/camps covers general information about cancer, different kinds of cancer, warning signs and symptoms, known causes, risk factors, effect of lifestyle, diet and cancer correlation, dangers of tobacco abuse, cancer status in India, women’s cancers, head and neck cancers & myths.
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Although India has good advancements for diagnosis and treatment, cancer is still a big challenge to our country. Cancer is the second most common disease in India.According to 1991 Indian census data, about 609000 cancer cases had been observed. But the number of cancer cases in India has drastically increased in the last decade to reach 806, 000.
As per Indian population census data, the rate of mortality due to cancer in India is alarmingly high. Cancer prevalence in India is estimated to be around 2.5 million, with over 8,00,000 new cases and 5,50,000 deaths occurring each year due to this disease. Although, cancer is a deadly disease and the treatment for the same is a long term process, it is imperative for each one of us to be aware of the Warning Signs of Cancer in order to seek treatment as soon as we see any symptom. Thus, in order to increase the awareness about the disease Serve Samman holds awareness camps in remote villages informing them about the signs and symptoms of the disease.