The prevalence of cancer in the world is increasing. Currently, at least 8.2 million people died each year around the world due to the disease.
“What’s more worrisome is that in 2030 as high as 12 million fatalities are predicted to occur each year, costing USD458 millions,” said dr. Mardiah Suci Hardianti, Ph.D., Sp.PD.KHOM, at Faculty of Medicine on Sunday (5/2) during the celebration of World Cancer Day.
The UGM Hematology Oncology Medical expert said the increase in prevalence of cancer was due to a number of factors. Internal factors are low immunity and genetics, external factors are unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, imbalanced diet, obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol, and infections that are rampant in developing countries.
Mardiah explained smoking was still the biggest cause for cancer with tobacco accounting for 5 million fatalities each year, or 22% of all cancer related fatalities.
According to Mardiah, providing people with knowledge on the relations between lifestyle and cancer would be very important to do, so people may choose to lead a healthy lifestyle.
“Over a third of cancer cases can be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle. So, information on healthy lifestyle and avoid the risks that cause cancer need to be diseminated to the society,” said Mardiah.
This can be done by avoiding exposure to smoke, pollution, UV rays, alcohol, and low fibre diet, besides vaccination to prevent risks of cancer that are caused by virus infections.
During the celebration of World Cancer Day with the theme We Can I Can, Mardiah expected the people to change their lifestyle to healthy one and give support to cancer patients to support their life expectancy. Also, people need to have healthy behaviours at schools, work environment, and urban areas. Furthermore, stigmatisation and discrimination of cancer patients need to be eliminated.
Mardiah further encouraged the government to include the cancer controls in the Draft National Health Plans and improve access to services and treatment of cancer. Improved skills, knowledge and competence of health service providers are another thing required for sustainable cancer services. It is equally important to create a multisectoral partnership that is innovative for prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.
“All those efforts are expected to be able to improve the quality of life and minimise the fatalities prevalence of cancer patients,” she concluded.
The event went further with balloons releasing and Limfoedema exercise. It was attended by guests, including Indonesian Cancer Foundation and patients of cancer from various areas.