By Hannah Wileman – Contributing Writer
Today is World Cancer Day! February 4th is a marked as World Cancer Day, a day when people can come together to help fight against cancer. Proceeds from this day help go on to fund research into new methods of detecting and treating many different types of cancer.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the UK with on average 350,000 new cases, causing over 150,000 deaths, each year; and 42% of these are preventable by lifestyle changes. Optimistically, over half of people who are diagnosed with cancer in the UK will survive for ten or more years; with cancer survival improving greatly as research develops and more treatments are found.
For those of you who may not know the biology behind cancer. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells forming a lump, often described as a tumour. However, some cancers, such as cancers of the blood, will not form this solid mass. Cancers start by changes within a cell by mutations in the cellular DNA; allowing the cell to continue to divide and create more cells uncontrollably.
As previously mentioned, a lot of cancer cases can be preventable by changes in lifestyle. Smoking is a leading cause of many types of cancer, especially lung cancer. Cigarettes are the only product on sale in the UK that inform you that the product has the potential to kill you; quitting smoking is probably the biggest step you can take to reduce your risk of developing cancer. Other changes in lifestyle can also reduce the risk of cancer, by having regular exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking less alcohol.
Most of all, it is important to know your body, so you can tell when something doesn’t seem quite right and you can speak to your doctor. A great charity promoting the awareness of breast cancer is CoppaFeel, who give clear guidelines to what to look for and how best to check your boobs!
If you wish to help fund cancer research, you can get involved by purchasing a Unity Band or directly donating to the cause, or would just like to find out more information, a great source is www.cancerresearchuk.org.