World Cancer Day

Rejoice Muzanenhamo Health Matters

World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention.

Such awareness may result in millions of preventable cancer deaths being reduced.

It is everyone’s duty to spread awareness be it in families, schools, communities, workplaces and even at church gatherings.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease that arises when cellular changes in a group of normal cells causes an uncontrolled, abnormal and division of cells.

Cancer cells consume oxygen and nutrients depriving other cells thus affecting the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems.

Types of cancers

Cancers are classified according to where they originate in the body like breast or lung. It can also be classified according to the cell in which it originates.

1 Carcinoma — these arise from epithelial cells in the skin or tissues that enclose internal organs and may invade surrounding tissue organs and metastasize to the lymph nodes and other body areas. Lung, prostate, breast and colon cancer are the most common types of carcinoma.

2 Lymphoma — these starts in the surrounding and supporting tissue, for example, bones, fat, cartilage, muscle or blood vessels. Examples include Liposarcoma, Osteosarcoma and Leiomyosarcoma.

3 Leukemia — is the cancer of white blood cells and begins in the tissue that form white blood cells. Common types include Lymphocytic leukemia.

4 Brain — and spinal cord cancers — these starts in the cells of the brain or spinal cord and are called cancers of the central nervous system. Glioma is the most common type.

What risk factors can affect cancer?

Various risk factors can contribute to the cause of cancer. Some of these factors cannot be influenced while others can be actively controlled like diet.

Non–modifiable risk factors



A genetically inherited high risk for a specific cancer

Weakened immune system

Modifiable risk factors

Consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

Bad nutrition

Low physical activity


Ironising radiation

Workplace hazards

Infectious agents

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