With a staggering population of 165 million, Bangladesh has made its way to the top ten most populated countries in the world. Almost every year, 200,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer. Majority of them are lung and oral cancer in males and cervical and breast cancer in females. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics revealed that the death rate due to cancer will have reached 22 million by 2030 from 12.7 million previously noted in 2008.
Abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells forming a lump, otherwise known as a tumour, is the first step to cancer formation. It is a completely spontaneous process that will show its colours with time unless a catalyst is present. In cases such as these, prevention is more difficult, but an early diagnosis can ease the pain, and medication might even drive it away. To be able to identify the progression, cancer tests such as CT scans, MRI, Mammograms etc., depending on the type of cancer, are conducted in hospitals. It might be expensive, but what is the point in hoarding money if we are not alive to spend it?
Often, especially for us Bangalis, we tend to spend money on others rather than ourselves. Or we opt to buy furniture, that Nakshi Kantha design bed cover we saw in Grameen Check, literally anything and everything besides doing voluntary health checkups. In a recent survey conducted by a group of BRAC University students, it was found that out of a total of 1390 participants, 520 of them only visit the doctor when it is absolutely necessary, which makes up 38% of the entire group.
Time waits for none, but as we grow older, exposure to radiation over time increases the risk and stage of cancer. In order to raise awareness and effectively prevent cancer fatalities, why not celebrate World Cancer Day, a global awareness day led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), by getting our loved ones, especially our parents, tested? I mean, if we are saving money for other purposes this February, would it not be wiser to invest in a precious life instead?