WorldCanAwarethon 2024

Cancer is the new age epidemic. Around 20 million cases are being detected across the globe annually and roughly 10 million deaths /year (one in four deaths due to cancer). There is a discrepancy found in occurances based on socioeconomics of the population showing that 70% deaths from cancer occur in low-middle income countries. Trends show ~750,000 new cases detected in Kashmir every year (currently around with 2.5 million people living with cancer). Cancer causes upwards of 800,000 deaths every year in Kashmir alone. Unfortunately, under the current healthcare system and cancer awareness measures, 50-60% cases in present in advanced stages making the survival poor. However, 30-50% cancers are preventable and early-stage cancers are curable.

In this backdrop, Jammu’s First Cancer Awareness mega event ‘WorldCanAwarethon’ was initiated by Dr Shabnam Bashir (Senior Consultant Breast & Colorectal Cancer Surgeries , Executive Committee Member of ACRSI & Vattikuti Fellowship Alumnus). This inaugural event was held as part of the celebration of World Cancer Awareness Week (World Cancer Awareness Day is celebrated on 4th Feb). With a goal of increasing awareness and early detection of cancer, J&K Sports Council under the aegis of Association of Colon & Rectal Surgeons of India (ACRSI) and Vattikuti Foundation organized the all-day event at at MA Stadium Jammu

Organizers were pleased to see 300-350 participants. The highlights of the day included a yoga demonstration to emphasize the role of de-stressing by J&K Sports council sports students. This was followed by Cancer Awareness talk by Dr Shabnam Bashir discussing about the subtle signs and symptoms and preventive measures. In her talk, Dr Shabnam said that Cancers are conquerable only if we decide to stay aware and follow the preventive measure and seek help at the earliest. And those detected early have a great prognosis, hence, the need to create awareness about subtle signs & symptoms of cancers and emphasize the role of screenings, early detection, and preventive lifestyle modifications. And 40-50% of factors are modifiable like smoking, obesity, diet, physical activity, alcohol, & infections.

Symbolically, the group conducted a Purple Human Ribbon creation and led a Cancer Awareness Walkathon so that participants were reminded of the importance of physical activity and fitness in cancer prevention. Cancer awareness pamphlet (credit Astra Zeneca) was offered and distributed amongst all participants and public.

Honored guestsJ&K Sports Council included the Deputy Director, Department of Youth Services and Sports Dr Jitender Mishra and event was also attended by various doctors including Vattikuti Fellowship Alumnus & Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Dr Robindera Kaur, to reinforce the participation of various institutions and organizations in collaborating for such public awareness activities.