World Cancer Day is February 4, 2022

World Cancer Day is February 4, 2022

I have lost 3 close family members to cancer. 

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease which occurs when changes in a group of normal cells within the body lead to uncontrolled, abnormal growth. If left untreated, cancer can spread into the surrounding normal tissue, or to other parts of the body and can affect the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems or release hormones that may affect body function.

Causes of cancer: 

Most cancers are the result of exposure to a number of different factors, modifiable and non-modifiable risks. At least one third of cancer cases can be prevented by reducing behavioral and dietary risks.   

Modifiable risk factors include: 

  • Alcohol increases the risk of colorectal, breast, mouth and throat, esophagus, liver and stomach cancer. The more alcohol people consume, the higher the risk of cancers but even moderate alcohol intake increases the risk of cancer. 
  • Overweight or Obesity
  • Diet and nutrition: Diets high in red meats, processed meats, salted foods and low in fruits and vegetables have an impact on cancer risks.
  • Physical activity: Regular physical activity helps reduce excess body fat and cancer risks
  • Tobacco: Tobacco smoke contains at least 80 different cancer-causing substances. Currently, tobacco use is responsible for around 22% of cancer deaths.

Signs and symptoms of cancer:

  • Unusual lumps or swelling 
  • Coughing, breathlessness or difficulty breathing
  • Changes in bowel habit or blood in the stool
  • Unexpected bleeding 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • New mole or changes to a mole 
  • Problems with urinating 
  • Unusual breast changes 
  • Appetite loss 
  • Heavy night sweats


  • 10 million people die from cancer every year.
  • At least one third of cancers are preventable.
  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide.