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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

World Cancer Day

<p>​World Cancer Day is observed globally on 4 February. World Cancer Day is an effort to increase awareness about cancer, its prevention, and treatment options.</p><p>The theme for World Cancer Day from 2022 to 2024 is “Close the Care Gap,&quot; focusing on the need to create awareness about the inequalities in cancer care and on uniting our voices and taking action.</p><p>Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. According to Globocan 2020, the most common cancer in women is breast cancer (28.7%), while in males it is oral cavity cancer (12.9%). The highest mortality in Pakistan, secondary to cancer, is also because of the breast (11.7%) and oral cavity (9.1%). </p><p>WHO estimates between 30-50% of cancers are preventable. Cancer is usually also curable if detected and treated early. It is not a death sentence, provided there is a timely intervention. Screening is key to early detection and cures for some cancers. </p><p>The exact cause of cancer is not known but some factors such as genetics, environment, and lifestyle can be ascribed as contributing factors. Adopting healthy habits can help prevent cancer:</p><ul><li>Exercise regularly</li><li>Choose a healthy lifestyle</li><li>Quit smoking and tobacco</li><li>Use sunscreen when outdoor </li><li>Educate yourself about the possible signs and symptoms</li><li>Avoid exposure to asbestos, pesticides, smoke and BPA</li><li>Get regular checkups and screening</li><li>Vaccination against certain viruses such as Hepatitis B and HPV </li></ul><p>
</p><p>World Cancer Day aims to mobilize friends, families, and communities in this war against cancer because united we are much stronger.​
We can also unite voices by forming support groups and by providing a forum for cancer patients and survivors to share their experiences and stories.
We can start by taking small steps and with solidarity raise our voices, form alliances, and innovations, and help patients seek the care they need and deserve.</p><p>
</p><p><em>Part of this article is an excerpt from an Editorial written by </em><em>Dr. Tasneem Dawood, Senior Instructor, Oncology, The Aga Khan University Hospital.</em></p>
© The Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan