Delhi

World Cancer Day today

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WHO warns that tobacco and alcohol abuse increases cancer risk

: On the eve of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organisation warned that tobacco and alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity significantly increase the risk of cancer.

The WHO added that in South-East Asia, occupational hazards and exposure to environmental substances continue to be a source of cancer and premature death.

Speaking about cancer day, observed on February 4, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of WHO (South-East Asia region), said: “Tobacco use accounts for 22 per cent of cancer deaths globally, and is a leading cause of the disease in South-East Asia. Alcohol use, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity contribute to a burden that has profoundly negative social, economic and developmental implications.

The choices we make significantly affect the risk of cancer.”

Every year 8.2 million die of cancer across the world.

Two-thirds of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, and more than 50 per cent of deaths could have been prevented.

“Whether through labouring in fields without adequate sun protection or exposure to cancer-causing chemicals at a factory, workers throughout the region are exposed to risks,” noted the release.

Outdoor air pollution, meanwhile, increases the risk of cancer for us all. The region has 14 of the world’s top 20 most-polluted cities, making clear the need for governments to tackle the issue promptly.

Chronic infections caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C viruses, and Helicobacter pylori are also highly prevalent in the Region and important causes of preventable cancers.

Increasing awareness means supporting healthy workplaces; encouraging people to get regular check-ups for early detection of cancerous cells for improved chances of recovery; and encouraging people to abstain from tobacco use, avoid alcohol and unhealthy foods, and exercise regularly.``As lifespans increase and the natural ageing process takes its course, these measures will prove invaluable to the fight against cancer, both at an individual and societal level. This much we can all do,’’ said Dr. Singh.



Every year 8.2 million die of cancer across the world and more than 50 per cent deaths could have been prevented



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Printable version | Sep 17, 2019 8:51:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/world-cancer-day-today/article8190370.ece

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