Mrunal Manmay Dash

World Cancer Day is observed worldwide on February 4 every year. It is a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) for a cancer-free world.

By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, the organisation is working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live.

This year's World Cancer Day's theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about celebrating progress in its many forms that enable more people to seek and receive the care they need and deserve. It is about providing the momentum to fuel our fight for fairness.

As per medical science, cancer is an unnatural growth of cells that wrecks the healthy environment of the body. The complications associated with it are not because of the disease, but due to the delayed diagnosis as the patients are asymptomatic at most of the times until it is too late.

As per the Mayo Clinic, the DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous.


Doctors have identified several ways to reduce the risk of cancer. Awareness is the key. The more people are aware about the disease, the more preventable it becomes. Smoking, drinking, excessive sun exposure, sedentary lifestyle, and more importantly, awareness about one’s own body is paramount in preventing the disease to creep into your body.

It is important to talk to the doctor about what types of cancer screening exams are best for you based on your risk factors.

While the whole world observed the Cancer Day on Saturday, Apollo hospital in collaboration with FICCI and Rotary Club in Bhubaneswar organised a walkathon to spread awareness about the disease. Taking forward the UICC’s theme, the walkathon has made ‘To Fill the Care Gap’ its theme as well.

“We organise events on World Cancer Day every year. We want to make people aware of cancer. People should not hide the disease. They should come forward and treat it,” said Sanjay Mishra, Senior Radiation Oncologist.