An estimated of two thirds of all cancers are preventable and yet two thirds of all cancer patients aren’t cured. This is a major cause for concern. Cancer is the second leading cause of deaths in the US. If two thirds of those deaths are prevented that is still close to 33 percent of deaths that can be prevented just by spreading awareness about cancer and its early detection. If you think it’s a country specific problem, cancer is also the leading cause of deaths globally. It was estimated that about 13% of all deaths in the world are due to cancer. More than 30% of all cancer cases can be avoided with just a healthier lifestyle and about a third of all cancer cases can be cured if detected early.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US and it is estimated that over 135,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer alone in the US in 2017. People over the age of 50 are the most likely to be affected by colon cancer. Colon cancer is often asymptomatic in the early stages, which means that most people do not initially have any symptoms and do not go to see a doctor unless the disease has progressed, potentially making it more difficult to treat, in some cases leaving it entirely untreatable.
The best chance for a positive outcome is to have annual cancer screenings in order to detect if any potential cancerous cells exist in the colon. Without any symptoms, routine screening is the best way to catch colon cancer in its earliest stages. For cancers like these that show no symptoms during early stages. Only regular checkups can help in early detection.
There are two primary ways one can detect cancer.
Recognizing possible warning signs of cancer and taking immediate action can lead to an early diagnosis of cancer in the body. Awareness about possible warning signs of cancer should be communicated among doctors, nurses and other health care providers as well as among the general public. Some early signs of cancer include lumps, sores, abnormal bleeding, constant indigestion, and chronic hoarseness. Early diagnosis is very relevant for cancers in the breast, cervix, mouth, larynx, colon and rectum, and skin.
Screening for cancer is nothing but running simple tests on people who show no external signs of cancer. One of the most common examples of this would be the use of mammography to ascertain if a person has breast cancer or not and cervical cancer screening using methods such as cytology which includes pap smears. Screening programs can only be conducted after making sure that it’s a financially viable and also easily executable. Screening can only be done if there are enough resources and also if a cancer is highly prevalent enough to make it a screening viable disease. If a certain type of cancer is not common, spending resources to create a simple test to find such a cancer becomes a waste of resources. Mass population screening is currently viable only for breast and cervical cancers. There are many studies to ascertain other low cost methods to find other cancers in a simple and efficient manner.
Even though a lot of people support regular screening of cancers, many are not aware of the methods to screen and also a lot of people still ignore a lot of the early warning signs such as the sores, lumps etc. without the awareness about cancer people who could potentially help themselves and those around them fail to do so just because of a lack of knowledge.
So the main reasons why you want to make people aware of what cancer is and what it entails, is to help people recognize the early signs and symptoms of cancer, thus enabling them to get the treatment they deserve earlier. It makes people aware of the signs that might relate to cancer such, symptoms which may include lumps, sores, bleeding, hoarseness, weight loss and persistent indigestion/cough/pain, etc. and seek the medical attention that might be required.
It is also needed to educate people about the key risk factors of cancer since more than 30% of cancer cases could be prevented by changing one’s lifestyle or avoiding the key risk factors such as alcohol, smoking, unhealthy diets etc. If cancer awareness among the public increases and the methods to both find it early and cure it are well known, there could be a lot of lives saved. 13% of the population isn’t a small number by any means.