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National Cancer Awareness Day

Cancer is one of those words that strikes a chord in all our hearts. It’s a battle that many of us have either fought personally or watched our loved one’s wage with courage and determination. It’s a disease that knows no boundaries, impacting people from all walks of life. And in the face of such a formidable opponent, we often find ourselves asking, “What can I do to make a difference?”

National Cancer Awareness Day is celebrated on November 7 every year in India.

National Cancer Awareness Day isn’t just a day on the calendar; it’s a symbol of hope, unity, and the power of collective action. It’s a day for remembering those we’ve lost, honouring the survivors, and standing beside those currently facing the challenge.


According to WHO, “Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs. The latter process is called metastasizing and is a major cause of death from cancer.”


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.

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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.

Spreading Awareness in the Digital Age

The digital age has not only expanded the reach of cancer awareness but has also democratized the process. Individuals, small organizations, and grassroots movements can now amplify their voices and make a significant impact, contributing to a more informed and connected global community united in the fight against cancer.

1. Social Media Campaigns: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have given rise to viral cancer awareness campaigns. Hashtags and challenges, such as the popular “#NoMakeupSelfie” and “Ice Bucket Challenge,” have engaged millions of people and generated substantial donations for cancer research and support.

2. Online Support Communities: The internet has facilitated the creation of online support communities where cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones can connect, share their experiences, and seek guidance. These virtual communities offer a safe space for emotional support, information exchange, and empowerment.

3. Educational Websites and Blogs: Numerous websites and blogs dedicated to cancer education and awareness have proliferated in the digital age. These platforms provide a wealth of information, including articles, videos, infographics, and personal stories, making it easier for people to access and share knowledge about cancer.

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4. Crowdsourced Fundraising: Online crowdfunding platforms have revolutionized fundraising for cancer-related causes.


This National Cancer Awareness Day, let’s take a moment to remember those who we have lost to the cruel disease that is cancer.

In July of 2012, Manish Kumar, a 12 year old chid, was diagnosed with blood cancer, also called Leukaemia. After going through numerous chemo rounds, surviving ventilator once, and thousands of medicines and check-ups, Manish lost his life 6 months later on 27th February 2013, just a few hours after celebrating his 13th birthday.

What turned out to be cancer started as a mild fever which lasted for more than a week. After his eyes started to turn yellowish, Manish’s parents took him to a doctor where he was diagnosed with cancer. He was later admitted in the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

Even during his last days, Manish did not lose hope and always reassured his parents that he is going to be just fine and healthy, and that he is going to beat cancer.

It has been 10 years since Manish left this world, but even today he is remembered by his family and friends.

This National Cancer Awareness Day, remember to check up on your loved ones, do not take even a mild fever lightly, and go for routine bodily check-ups.


Cancer awareness is a call to action that invites everyone to make a difference. There are numerous ways you can get involved in spreading cancer awareness. Here are some meaningful ways to make a difference:

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1. Educate Yourself: Start by educating yourself about different types of cancer, risk factors, and the importance of early detection. Understanding the basics of cancer empowers you to have informed conversations and make healthier choices.

2. Participate in Awareness Events: Many organizations host cancer awareness events, such as charity walks, runs, and bike rides. Participating in these events not only raises funds but also shows your support for those affected by cancer.

3. Donate: Financial contributions are crucial to advancing cancer research and supporting patients. You can donate to reputable cancer organizations, research institutions, or local initiatives that aid those in need.

4. Organize Fundraisers: Host your own fundraising events or campaigns to raise money for cancer research or support services. This could include charity auctions, bake sales, or online crowdfunding efforts.


1. Indian Cancer Society

National non-governmental organisation, founded in 1951, with branches and affiliates covering various regions and specialisations throughout India.

2. Cancer Aid and Research Foundation A non-profit charitable organization, supporting the welfare of underprivileged cancer patients, without distinction of caste or religion.

3. Cancer Patients Aid Association A charitable non-governmental organization founded in 1969. CPAA works to raise awareness of cancer and causes, such as chewing of tobacco; early detection; and to provide complete assistance to cancer patients beyond that given by the medical profession.

Article by freelance journalist, reporting for True To Life

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