World Cancer Day

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By Shahrukh Madni

Member Khayal – The Caring Society

SCME (NUST)

Do you know what day it is on February the 4th? No, it’s not a Saturday … well! Yes it is! But aside from that it’s also world cancer day. On the 4th of February, 2011 the UICC and its partner organizations will run campaigns all over the world to raise awareness for a disease that causes millions of deaths every year, many of which could have been prevented. Cancer is a disease that no one needs to be introduced to. Everyone’s heard of it. But how many of us know what it is?

Well according to the real wizard of our times, Wikipedia:

“Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis, or spreading to other locations in the body via lymph or blood.”

Did you know that each year, over 12.7 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and 7.6 million people die from the disease? If no action is taken, the worldwide cancer burden is expected to reach 26 million new diagnoses 17 million deaths by the year 2030, with the most rapid increases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. (Yes Pakistan is NOT a high income country.)

However it’s not all gloom and doom. The good news is that many of these deaths are preventable. Contrary to popular wisdom, cancer is not incurable (unless the tumors become too big, then yeah! it’s incurable). Annual checkups, physical activity, safe exposure to the sun, healthy diets and avoidance of carcinogens in stuff like cigarettes and sheesha go a long way in fighting cancer.

The actual sad thing is that many deaths from cancer are those that occurred due to poverty of the patient so that they could not seek the appropriate treatment and due to people not seeking timely medical assistance. So this day has been constituted to spread awareness about these completely preventable deaths at the hands of a tyrant disease and to show solidarity with those brave souls who are battling with this disease.

Together we can make one more disease go extinct. So let’s join our voices and loudly say: “GOODBYE CANCER!!! GOD! HOW WE HATE YOU!!!!”

Osama is a junior ChemE at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering (SCME), NUST. He finds enthusiasm, dedication and hard work as his friends in his journey as a life-long learner. Aimed for a change in his surroundings, his interests lies in research, education, management, literature and blogging. He could be reached at osama_hasan@hotmail.com

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