National Cancer Awareness Day – November 7, 2021

National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on November 7 in India. The day highlights the significance of increased awareness about cancer prevention and early detection for the general public. The National Cancer Control Programme was initiated in 1975 to provide cancer treatment facilities in the country. In India, nearly 1.1 million new cases are being reported annually. Two-thirds of cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, reducing patients’ chances of survival. Various programs have been initiated to increase research on the prevention and early detection of cancer.

History of National Cancer Awareness Day

National Cancer Awareness Day was first announced by the Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan in September 2014, and that 7th November will be observed as National Cancer Awareness Day every year to generate awareness about early detection and avoid leading cancer-causing lifestyles.

Harsh Vardhan launched a state-level of cancer control, encouraging early detection and research into curing cancer. National Cancer Awareness Day also encourages people to report to government hospitals, CGHS, and municipal clinics for a free screening. Information booklets are also circulated to generate awareness on how to avoid getting cancer and to look for signs of early symptoms. In 1975, the National Cancer Control Programme was initiated to provide cancer treatment facilities in India. The program was modified in 1984-85 to provide thrust to prevention and early detection of cancer.

National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on 7th November to coincide with the birth anniversary of the Novel-prize winning scientist Madame Curie. Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867, Marie Curie is remembered for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to the fight against cancer. Her work led to the development of nuclear energy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.

In India, nearly 1.1 million new cases are being reported annually. It is estimated that one woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes in India. Tobacco (smoked and smokeless) use accounted for 3,17,928 deaths in men and women in 2018. Cancers of the oral cavity and lungs account for over 25% of cancer deaths in males and cancer of the breast and oral cavity account for 25% of cancers in females.
Today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan advises that if detected early, cancer could be treated at a fraction of the cost that is incurred when diagnosed at an advanced stage. Its mortality rate is also lowered substantially if people report for screening when the earliest symptoms are manifested.

National Cancer Awareness Day timeline

2018
Scary statistics

Tobacco (smoked and smokeless) use accounts for 3,17,928 deaths in men and women in India, which Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan says to avoid because smoking can lead to cancer.

2014
The importance of cancer awareness

National Cancer Awareness Day is first announced by the Indian Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan

1975
Cancer detection programs launched

The National Cancer Control Programme is initiated to provide cancer treatment facilities in India

1911
Nobel Prize winner

Marie Currie receives her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, in recognition of her work in radioactivity.

1867
The birth of a genius

Marie Currie, a notable scientist remembered for her work leading to the development of nuclear energy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer, is born in Warsaw Poland. Her birthdate is remembered in India, as the day of National Cancer Awareness Day

National Cancer Awareness Day FAQs

Is cancer increasing in India?

India had an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases in 2018, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which said that one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and one in 15 will die of the disease.

How many cancer patients are there in India?

The World Cancer Report said that according to the estimated cancer burden in India in 2018, there are about 1.16 million new cancer cases, 784,800 cancer deaths, and 2.26 million 5-year prevalent cases in India’s population of 1.35 billion.

What does breast cancer awareness mean?

Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment.

How To Observe National Cancer Awareness Day

  1. Get a screening

    Early detection of cancer can be life-saving. Every year, make sure to book an appointment and get tested. Cancer screening and detection services are available in cities of Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhilai, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi-NCR, Ernakulam, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Indore, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kannur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kolhapur, Kollam, Kottayam, Madurai, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur, Palakkad, Pathankot, Patna, Pondicherry, Pune, Sangli, Surat, Tirunelveli, Trichy and Vellore.

  2. Inform friends and family about early detection

    National Cancer Awareness Day is all about informing those you love about the prevention of cancer. Look online or give an information booklet to generate awareness on how to avoid getting cancer and how to look for signs of early symptoms.

  3. Read up about Marie Currie

    National Cancer Awareness Day is observed on November 7 each year in remembrance of Marie Currie’s birth. The scientist was born in 1867 and is noted for her brilliant work leading to the development of nuclear energy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Make sure to note her Nobel Prizes in the field of science.

5 Interesting Facts About Cancer Awareness

  1. Preventable cancer statistics

    Experts believe that In India, preventable factors account for 70% of cancers out of which 40% are tobacco-related, 20% infection-related and 10% are due to other factors.

  2. Women and cancer in India

    In India, one woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes. For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India.

  3. High death rates

    Almost 50% of cancers are detected at late stages in India due to lack of awareness, illiteracy, fear and taboos.

  4. Cancer claiming lives

    According to WHO, in 2018, cancer claimed approx 9.6 million lives in the world and India's share was around 8.17%

  5. Tobacco increases cancer risk

    According to the Lancet report about cancer, India is the second biggest killer after heart disease, which states that the use of tobacco is a risk factor for 14 types of cancer.

Why National Cancer Awareness Day Is Important

  1. Death rates are high in India

    India's cancer incidence is far lower than in developed nations, yet death rates are higher due to late detection for a myriad of reasons. It’s important to raise and spread awareness about this deadly disease to save lives.

  2. Women must get tested for breast cancer

    For every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India. This is a scary statistic and therefore information about how to detect it in its early stages is vital. Women are advised to undertake self-breast tests regularly at home, seven days before and after periods. Stand in front of a mirror with your arms relaxed and look for any change in size, shape and position of the breasts. Look for skin changes, skin discoloration and sores. Check nipples for peeling, change in direction & size, whether retracted and whether there is any discharge. If there are any concerns, book an appointment with your doctor and get tested regularly.

  3. Preventing cancer-causing lifestyles

    National Cancer Awareness Day is all about generating awareness about early detection and avoiding leading cancer-causing lifestyles. Lancet’s report says that the use of tobacco is a risk factor for 14 types of cancer. Other causes include alcohol, drug use, and poor diet. Unsafe sex is also the main risk factor for cervical cancer and is the second most common cancer type in women. The high risk of lung cancer is also due to tobacco use and air pollution. It’s important to raise awareness and inform yourself about any lifestyle changes you may need to make to help protect you and your loved ones from cancer.

National Cancer Awareness Day dates

YearDateDay
2021November 7Sunday
2022November 7Monday
2023November 7Tuesday
2024November 7Thursday
2025November 7Friday

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