“Nigerians are known to ignore their health, probably because of the daily stress they have to go through or the ‘what you don’t know won’t kill you attitude’. The truth is, what you don’t know can kill; that happens more often than not, hence the need to always go for medical checkup. Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases characterized by the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells that form a tumor. Malignant (cancerous) tumors grow and invade other tissues in the body. Cells from malignant tumors can also break away and travel to other parts of the body, where they can continue to grow, a process called metastasis. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries. Today being world cancer day, INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you facts about cancer you should know…
1. Br*ast cancer is more common in the left br*ast than the right. The left br*ast is 5 – 10% more likely to develop cancer than the right chest. The left side of the body is also 10% more prone to melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Nobody is exactly sure why this is.
2. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world causing 22% of cancer deaths.
3. Anyone can develop cancer, however, the risk of getting it increases with age. Most cases occur in middle-aged adults or older. About 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 55-years or older.
4. The most common cancers among men are: prostate, lung, and colorectal (colon) cancer. For women: br*ast, lung, stomach, colorectal and cervical. In many developing countries, cervical cancer is the most common cancer.
5. One fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection, for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer.
6. Cancers of major public health relevance such as br*ast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated adequately.
7. More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and moderating the use of alcohol. In developing countries up to 20% of cancer deaths could be prevented by immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.
8. Those who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to develop colon cancer than those who sleep more.
9. One in eight deaths in the world are due to cancer. Cancer causes more deaths than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.
10. Women who have no children or who have their first pregnancy after the age of 30 have a slightly higher risk of developing br*ast cancer than those who become pregnant while they are younger. chest-feeding may also reduce the risk of br*ast cancer slightly.
11. Br*ast cancer is considered a taboo in many Middle Eastern countries, and many women will not get tested because they fear being examined by male doctors.
12. Brea5tfeeding has consistently been shown to reduce br*ast cancer—the greater the duration, the greater the benefit.
Researchers believe that over half of all cancer cases – and up to half of all cancer deaths – are preventable. This means there are between 2.4 million and 3.7 million avoidable deaths per year, 80% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries.”