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Fitness & Wellness

National Cancer Awareness Day 2020: History and importance of this day

National Cancer Awareness Day 2020: History and importance of this day

Suraj Iyer

Published: 7 Nov 2020 4:53 AM GMT

National Cancer Awareness Day is marked on November 7th of every year. The day is dedicated to spreading awareness on preventing the spread of cancer and how can one detect any symptoms early. Cancer is among the leading causes of death globally and according to WHO, 1 in every 6 deaths in 2018 occurred due to cancer.

One of the major causes of cancer in India is due to consumption of tobacco. Chewing tobacco has shown a direct link with cancer.


National Cancer Control program was an initiative by the government in 1975 to provide cancer treatment facilities throughout the country and help in detecting the spread early.

In September 2014, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan announced National Cancer Awareness Day, a movement on cancer control throughout the state. He spread awareness through free facilities such as distributing booklets and free cancer screening tests at municipal centres.

November 7th is also the birth anniversary of Marie Curie, the eminent scientist who received two Nobel prizes for her work in Physics and Chemistry. Due to her contributions to science in researching radium, it is one of the effective ways today to treat cancer.


Cancer has been among the leading causes of death worldwide. Thus it is important to inform oneself about the symptoms of cancer, and how early care and prevention can help in managing it better. Here are a few symptoms that should prompt medical attention.

  • Lump or firm feeling in the breast or under arm.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Blood in stool or changes in bowel habits.
  • Cough or hoarseness that does not go away.
  • Trouble swallowing food.
  • Indigestion that does not disappear.
  • Fatigue that is severe and lasts.
  • Fever or night sweats for no known reason.
  • Bleeding, pain, or numbness in the lip or mouth.
  • Seizures.
  • Drooping of the face.
  • A flesh-colored lump that bleeds or turns scaly.
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
  • Swelling or lumps anywhere such as in the neck, underarm, stomach, and groin.
  • Weight gain or weight loss for no known reason.

Source: Symptoms of Cancer by National Cancer Institute

Also read: World Mental Health Day 2020: Theme, history and importance of this day

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