Yesterday was World Cancer Day – 4 February 2021. I was thinking about cancer as I read news of my recent CT scan. I was relieved to read it was all clear as bladder cancer is prone to recurring and producing secondaries and it’s necessary to check for them every couple of years.
World Cancer Day raises awareness and gathers support to reduce the cancer burden the slogan this year is #IamandIwill and the video shows people striving, surviving and supporting each other. Everyone’s been touched by cancer, some considerably more than others. It used to be an early death sentence and talked about in hushed tones but now it’s much more present and if caught early not necessarily fatal.
Although I also read it’s the second leading cause of death worldwide, that one in six deaths is due to cancer. Unfortunately, the trend is increasing in 2018 there were 18.1 million cases per year and in 2030 the World Health Organization predict that figure will rise to 29.4 million.* The greatest increase in cancer cases is predicted to be in low to middle income countries where diagnosis is often at a later stage and treatment is lacking.
The good news is that between a third and a half of cancers can be prevented when risks are avoided or minimized. The biggest risk is smoking which accounts for a quarter of cancer cases worldwide. Tobacco use is among the main risks for bladder cancer and bladder cancer was the tenth most common cancer globally in 2018**.
Experts say up to 40% of cancers can be prevented with a healthier lifestyle. They recommend:
- not smoking
- drinking responsibly
- eating more vegetables
- moving more
- keeping a healthy bodyweight
If you do notice something unusual like blood in your pee, unexplained pelvic and back pain or recurrent UTI’s don’t hesitate to get it checked!