Challenge of preventing cancer increasing in pollution era?

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There are often misconceptions among the common people that cancer is mainly caused by the consumption of tobacco, khaini-gutkha or alcohol. But, cancer is no longer limited to these reasons? This deadly disease has spread widely. Cancer has now started occurring in large quantities also due to pollution. Air pollution not only causes asthma, heart disease, skin allergies or eye diseases, but also causes deadly cancer. Therefore, it becomes necessary that more and more countrymen should be made aware about the cancer spread due to air pollution and awareness should be spread to every house by adopting every trick. Along with the governments, the common people will also have to participate in this work. Smog, polluted black clouds and a thick blanket of pollution are currently covering many cities, in which the Delhi-NCR region is at the top position, where the AQI level has even jumped to critical level. Apart from Delhi, the condition of other metros of the country is also not very good, people there too are finding it difficult to breathe. The number of patients in hospitals is continuously increasing.

However, cancer is now emerging in new forms in which contaminated air pollution plays an important role. According to health experts, toxic and suffocating pollution is giving rise to cancer in many ways. Reports say that when pollution enters the body, it first attacks the internal cells i.e. DNA and damages them, which later becomes the main cause of cancer. Apart from this, pollution also increases inflammation in the body and spoils the immune system. The situation regarding pollution is currently prevailing all over India. In such a situation, this time is very dangerous for mild patients. For such patients, does exposure to air pollution mean an increased risk of cancer, stroke, respiratory, cardiovascular disease and other health problems? Last year’s report of WHO came in this month in November, in which it was said that about seven million deaths occur every year in the whole world due to air pollution, in which India was placed at the second place. The situation is dire this year also.

If we look at the number of people who lost their lives due to cancer in the last three years in India, there were 7,70,230 deaths in 2020. Which increased to 7,89,202 in 2021. At the same time, in 2022 i.e. last year, the number of people dying from cancer in India increased rapidly, the number increased to 8,08,558. This year’s figures will come after two months, that too will definitely be scary. There is no dearth of awareness regarding cancer. Starting from the Central Government to all the State Governments also play a leading role in spreading awareness. But the cancer is showing no signs of stopping. According to doctors, carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer, which can be caused by tobacco, smoke, environment or virus. Most of the current cancers are caused by contaminated environment. As much as the common people are worried about the increasing cancer, the governments are also equally sad.

Let us tell you when ‘National Cancer Awareness’ started in India. In September 2014, National Cancer Awareness Day was launched for the first time in India by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. Then he formed a committee and decided that awareness would be spread about the severity of different types of cancer, their symptoms and treatment and ‘National Cancer Awareness Day’ would be celebrated on 7th November every year. From then onwards this special day began. However, the relevance of this day has increased further now. Since pollution is causing cancer, it becomes very important to publicize it also. The first prevention of cancer caused by air pollution is to wear a mask over your mouth in smoggy places and wash your hands and mouth with soap after leaving the place.

The number of cancer patients in India has increased rapidly in the last few years. Whereas, there was a time like this also. When, there are only a few lakh cancer patients in the entire country. Now this figure has reached not just a few lakhs, but several lakhs. The cases of new cancers have increased exponentially. Seeing the number of cancer patients in metropolitan areas, one gets goosebumps. Whereas, the situation in rural areas is now somewhat satisfactory. The increasing use of tobacco and cigarettes is also a reason and has always been so. The sad thing is that women are no longer lagging behind men in smoking. She speculates a lot. This is why between 1995 and 2025, there is an increase in tobacco and smoking-related cancer morbidity. Looking at these figures, surely we have to get serious about public health issues? ‘National Cancer Awareness Day’ alerts us about the risks of diseases, their causes, common cancers that affect life quality, and their symptoms. We have to follow them. We should not be careless towards health, we have to follow the guidelines of doctors and also go to government health camps organized from time to time and get our entire body medically examined.

– Dr. Ramesh Thakur

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