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sub icon,width-300,resizemode-4/World-Cancer-Day.jpgToday cancer is among the more discussed issues in our daily lives and it is quite possible that we have all lost someone close because of it. We often get emotional when in the climax of a movie Shah Rukh Khan dies due to cancer, we wrote hundreds of status messages on Facebook in solidarity with cricketer Yuvraj Singh when he was putting all his efforts in defeating cancer and how can we forget thousands of tributes on Twitter to the co-founder of Apple and technological visionary Steve Jobs, who died after a long battle with cancer.

To some people cancer is more than pain, falling hair, weakness, lumps in the body, nausea or vomiting. Actually what they are experiencing is fear, anger, grief, regret, anxiety and depression or just a simple but harsh message that they are nearing the end of life as no treatment can really help stop their cancer and they have only a short time left with them to live.

No, you don't need to feel sorry for them and they don't need your sympathy but what they need is your love, understanding and support.

They should be allowed to live like a normal human being as cancer will not change their relation with us nor will they be transformed totally. Even if their chances of survival are diminishing, what we can do is to try to fulfil their wishes in a way that they should not feel as if the same treatment is given because they are dying. Whatever life is left they have the right to live with dignity and a feeling of fulfilment.

One should avoid such gestures like becoming over-sympathetic and giving condolences, sharing their half cooked stories about cancer which definitely will make their pain and fears unbearable. What they deserves is positive stories which will certainly boost their morale, fill them with a feeling of optimism and self-confidence to defeat cancer, otherwise if it seems that the journey is difficult they can't be left alone to their destiny.

As per data of the Union for International Cancer Control, approximately 47% of cancer cases and 55% of cancer deaths occur in less developed regions of the world. The situation is predicted to get worse: by 2030, if current trends continue, cancer cases will increase by 81% in developing countries. By 2030, 60-70% of the estimated 21.4 million new cancer cases per year are predicted to occur in developing countries.

Do you remember the small advice of the air hostess, "Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others". Once you have your things on the path, you are then able to help others. Your healthy lifestyles can substantially reduce risks of getting cancers that are caused by responsible factors such as alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. By self awareness, balanced improved diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight could be preventive measures against cancer.

This year World Cancer Day theme is to dismiss damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline Cancer — Did you know? Let's make a point to generate more awareness and dispel all the myths related to cancer.

A few of the myth and facts are:

1. Myth: Cancer is just a health issue. Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide reaching social, economic, development and human rights implications.

2. Myth: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries. Truth: Cancer is a global epidemic, affecting all ages and socio-economic groups, with developing countries bearing a disproportionate burden.

3. Myth: Cancer is a death sentence . Truth: Many cancers that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people their cancer can now be treated effectively.

4. Myth: Cancer is my fate. Truth: With the right strategies, at least 30% of cancer cases can be prevented based on current knowledge.

All of us including individuals, policy makers, non-profits and healthcare professionals need to understand that many cancers can be prevented through appropriate lifestyle change. Early detection of cancer always increases the chances for successful treatment. Also one should understand that cancer is not the only cause of end of life and like other causes can be beaten/defeated with optimistic approach, and necessary medical and social support.

(Rahul Verma is co-founder of Uday Foundation, a non-profit working on health and dignity)

Source :'[timesofindia]

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