With early diagnosis and treatment, millions of cancer patients’ lives can be saved.

Stating that approximately 70% of cancer-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries and 90% of these patients do not have the opportunity to access radiotherapy, President of the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Association Prof. Dr. Şuayip Yalçın stated that 18 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the world and 9.6 million of these people lost their lives. Noting that more than 40% of cancers are preventable, Prof. Dr. Yalçın emphasized that the lives of 3.7 million people can be saved with the implementation of early diagnosis and treatment strategies in cancer every year.

A press conference was held by the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Association on the occasion of “February 4 World Cancer Day”. President of the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Association and Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Şuayip Yalçın, Former President of the World Cancer Control Organization (UICC) and Secretary General of the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Institution Prof. Dr. Tezer Kutluk, Biletix Deputy General Manager Hale Dündar Biga and Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine 1st year student Yaren Ünal attended. At the meeting, the results of the ‘International Cancer 2020 Research’ prepared by the World Cancer Control Organization (UICC) were announced.

We are trying to activate the collective mind of the society

Stating that as an association, they work to convey accurate information to the society through campaigns against false information and abuses, Prof. Dr. Şuayip Yalçın gave the following information: “No one should despise the consciousness and common sense of this society. With these campaigns, we try to activate the common mind and create a synergy.

Aim; to reflect the awareness that cancer is basically a preventable and preventable disease. As we pointed out in the campaign, genetics plays very little role. Cancer itself arises genetically, but its occurrence is all about our behavior.

Cancer is no longer an incurable disease! Treatment success rates are increasing rapidly.

We cannot change our genetics, and we do not need to. But we abuse our genes, we abuse them. We don’t make our lifestyle changes; such as smoking, alcohol, weight, not exercising, not eating a balanced and measured diet, not being protected from vaccines and other preventable diseases, not participating in cancer-related screenings. In fact, the basic structures in our country were created so that all of the society would act with a common consciousness. We are here to lead society to be better.”

Deaths from common cancers in developed countries have decreased

Pointing out that cancers are seen more in underdeveloped countries, Prof. Dr. Yalçın said: “The figures show that most cancers occur in underdeveloped countries. Because in developed countries, both deaths from colon, breast and lung cancers, which we call preventable cancers, have decreased and their incidence has decreased.

A downward trend has started in the world in these common cancers. Likewise, cancer deaths after the age of 50 and after the age of 60 in colon cancer began to decrease. Because people can enter screening programs, but we say that we should not be destined in the absence of such infrastructures.

Let it be our good destiny to live in our country. We can make our country livable and a pioneer in health. We can see this here as well, the figures have been announced recently. In the world, life expectancy in Turkey has increased to 81 for women and 75 for men. So we have the potential to do many things. We have well-trained personnel and manpower. The opportunity here is good, but cancer increases after the age of 50.

We carry these risks after the age of 50, especially starting from childhood and childhood obesity, together with our behaviors. So if we can avoid them without risk, that’s the message. Let’s recognize these risks ourselves and spread this message to our family and society. Let’s put such events on the agenda of the society. If we put it on the agenda of the society, then we also put it on the agenda of the state. When we put it on the agenda of the state, we also put it on the agenda of the international community.

With 4% of the resources spent on cancer treatment, cases can be reduced by 30%

We’ve been doing this since 1947. We are one of the first to initiate this in 1961 with the slogan ‘don’t be afraid of cancer, be afraid of being late’. UICC is very important to us because it represents a global cooperation. Humanity represents the common mind, but we, as the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Institution, represent Turkey’s experience.”

We will learn to cope with cancer, having cancer is not the end of the world

Underlining that more than 40 percent of cancers can be prevented, Prof. Dr. Şuayib Yalçın said, “It is important to ensure that no primary prevention, which we call primary prevention, does not occur, and to diagnose cancer early. When early diagnosis is caught at an early stage, the success of treatment completely changes. There is secondary prevention with cancer screenings and tertiary protection with treatments. Many people can get cancer, it can become chronic, but we will also learn to cope with it. Having cancer isn’t the end of the world either. It is possible to live with cancer,” he said.

Awareness of cancer risks

Providing information about the “Cancer 2020” research, which is the first multi-country public opinion survey, Prof. Dr. Yalçın noted that the results of the research show that there is a high level of awareness about this ailment. prof. Dr. Yalçın, referring to the survey study in which more than 15,000 adults from 20 countries participated, said that there are 500 people from Turkey who also participated in this study.

Commenting on the research results, Prof. Dr. Yalçın said, “This is an international study. Here, the target is human health and that’s why we carry out human-oriented studies. When we look at this survey, 60 percent of people all over the world are afraid of getting cancer. In general, 60% of the population has cancer in themselves or in their families. Cancer is a social problem, it affects the whole society. One-third of people die from cancer.

Tobacco use by 63 percent, exposure to harmful rays by 54 percent, and passive smoking by 50 percent seem to be the most well-known factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. “Lack of exercise is 28%, exposure to certain viruses or bacteria is 28%, and being overweight is 29%, the least known cancer risk factors.”

4 million lives could be saved each year with an effective cancer policy

In the study, it was determined that individuals from low-income households in the countries surveyed had less knowledge of cancer risk factors than high-income households. Dr. Şuayib Yalçın said, “This trend is observed in all areas except tobacco use, and there are differences in all areas except tobacco use when the groups that participated in the survey, who did not complete their university education, who received and did not receive university education, were compared.”

Stating that 84 percent of the individuals surveyed think that governments should take action regarding cancer, Prof. Dr. “About one-third of individuals surveyed believed that it was most important for governments to improve the affordability of cancer services,” Yalçın said. “It’s a measure that has been particularly emphasized by those surveyed in low- and middle-income countries.”

I’m determined I will

Former President of the World Cancer Control Organization (UICC) and Secretary General of the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Organization Prof. Dr. Tezer Kutluk, on the other hand, stated that they are the institution that brought World Cancer Day to Turkey and reminded that this year World Cancer Day is the 20th Anniversary.

Stating that for the last three years, they have a slogan called “I am determined and I will do it”, Prof. Dr. Kutluk said, “This slogan is a phrase that symbolizes everyone’s dedication to this issue, with the thought that a place can be reached in cancer with the struggle of the individual, society, companies, press and everyone. We do not change the theme of the campaign every year, but we do change the subheadings. The campaign “I am determined and I will do it” continues next year, but every year we come to you with different messages and slogans that are really helpful.”

Saying that he wanted to talk about the slogans related to World Cancer Day, Kutluk made the following statements: “I have 9.6 million reasons”. 9.6 million people die of cancer each year. That’s a number equal to the entire Belarusian population, or the entire state of Hainan, or the entire city of Jakarta. But whoever you are, you can give your voice and promise yourself for a cancer-free world.

  • Every year, 18 million people in the world are diagnosed with cancer and 9.6 million of them die. Where should we look positively from this, what can we do, where should we go? Out of these 9.6 million deaths, we can save 3.7 million lives in the short and medium term with early diagnosis and treatment strategies. So whoever you are, you can commit to asking your governments to make cancer a global priority.
  • Where you live should not decide your life. For example; You were born in a country where cancer treatment, diagnosis and prevention strategies are better. You cannot interfere with it, the place where you were born can be your destiny. Therefore, we say that where you were born or lived should not be your destiny. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Moreover, 90% of middle-income countries do not even have access to radiotherapy, the main treatment for cancer. Today, we need to talk about the world, not just Turkey. For example; Radiotherapy equipment is very limited in Africa.
  • Small changes bring big changes. Smoke-free workplaces reduce exposure to secondhand smoke by 80-90%. No matter who you are, you can make a commitment to yourself to make a meaningful change. We started to say “how can you change your behavior” is not enough to just be aware of the risk that an individual takes. That’s why, in this year’s campaign, we talk about how individuals should be aware of the risks they take and how they can protect themselves, their environment and society by changing these risks.
  • “Genetics or preferences?” Today, there is talk of genetic causes in cancer, it is true, but only 10% of all cancers are related to genetic mutations. But when you look at it, tobacco and alcohol use are responsible for 27% of all cancer deaths. That’s why we try to send a message to individuals that you can make a personal commitment to reduce your risks.
  • “Worth to be vaccinated” You know; There are around 500,000 cases of sexually transmitted cervical cancer caused by the human-papilloma virus in the world. Vaccination of girls against human papillomavirus in the last decade could prevent more than 300,000 cases of cancer. This includes screening and vaccination, and this is done all over the world.
  • We say 9.6 million people die from cancer, but when we look at it, there is actually a way the world has taken. Today, the proportion of people living within 5 years of being diagnosed with cancer has reached 48.3 million in the world. 50 million cancer survivors are now 5 years old and alive. This is a very important development. And if these people hold hands, they take a tour around the world. You can make a commitment to support cancer survivors.

163 thousand people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Turkey! Here are the cancer statistics

  • The cost of cancer to the world is 1.16 trillion USD annually, regardless of the rich or poor. There is such a high cost. This is equal to the combined Gross National Product (GDP) of Ireland, Norway and Singapore. Even rich countries are now having a hard time dealing with the economic dimension of this. We need to talk about money and perception, that an investment of 11 billion dollars in cancer prevention alone in low and middle income countries can save up to 100 billion dollars in cancer treatment costs. Therefore, we say that we are not helpless against cancer and we express our determination once again”.

Biletix Deputy General Manager Hale Dündar Biga announced that the income of the gift packages designed by Biletix for World Cancer Day and that can be purchased during ticket sales will be donated to the Turkish Cancer Research and Control Association.

Yaren Ünal, 1st year student at Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, said, “We are all aware of cancer, but awareness alone is not a sufficient concept. The important thing is to translate this awareness into behavioral changes. “We support this campaign,” he said.




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