World Cancer Day – #IAmAndIWill

World Cancer Day!

Empowering yourself towards cancer #IAmAndIWill

The WHO marks the launch of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign 2019. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.

Nearly every family in the world is touched by cancer, which is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally. WHO highlights that cancer no longer needs to be a death sentence, as the capacity exists to reduce its burden and improve the survival and quality of life of people living with the disease.

The most important component in the fight against cancer is detecting it as early as possible. Many people, however, either delay or avoid getting screened for cancer.

Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. There are two major components of early detection of cancer: education to promote early diagnosis and screening. Recognizing possible warning signs of cancer and taking prompt action leads to early diagnosis.

Some early signs of cancer are:

– Lumps

–  Sores that fail to heal

–  Abnormal bleeding

– Persistent indigestion, and

– Chronic hoarseness.

Early diagnosis is particularly relevant for cancers of the breast, cervix, mouth, larynx, colon and rectum, and skin.

Cancer Screening

There are various tools available in market for conventional and advanced screening.

Examples include breast cancer screening using mammography and cervical cancer screening using cytology screening methods, including Pap smears.

Recommended Cancer Screening Tests

Apart from the standard tests including blood tests and urine tests there are some specific tests for identifying certain specific types of cancer.

Some of the common cancers tests are mentioned below:

Breast Cancer

  • Clinical Breast examination,
  • Mammography

Colorectal Cancer

  • High Sensitivity Faecal (Stool) Occult Blood test [FOBT]
  • Colonoscopy,
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Rectal Exam,

Prostate Cancer

  • Prostate specific antigen test for Men.

Skin Cancer

  • Dermascopy
  • Clinical Skin Examinations

Cervical Cancer & Ovarian Cancer

  • Pap Smear
  • HPV Test (Human Papilloma Virus Test)
  • Thyroid Function Test (TFT), TSH etc for Women
  • Cancer Antigen 125 Blood Test (CA125)

Other general tests & Routine methods conducted to check for cancer include:

  • Alpha-fetoprotein Test (AFP) – a tumour marker test to detect tumours in liver, testicles & ovaries
  • Biopsy
  • Complete blood count etc

Effective early diagnosis can help detect cancer in patients at an earlier stage, enabling treatment that is generally more effective, less complex, and less expensive. Let us be aware and spread awareness to improve the quality of life.

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