10 Questions To Help You Demystify Cancer – World Cancer Day 2021 #IamandIwill

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is marked on the 4th of February to raise awareness about cancer and promote its detection, prevention, and treatment. Quelling misinformation, reducing the stigma, and ultimately demystifying cancer are the goals that inspire this year’s theme – I Am And I Will.

In the spirit of demystifying cancer, here are 11 simple answers to some nagging questions about cancer.

  1. What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which cells divide uncontrollably and harm body tissue with tumors or affect the immune system.

  1. Who can get cancer?

Anyone can get cancer, although the older one becomes, the higher the risk. This risk is amplified by factors like; smoking, lifestyle and food choices, how much you exercise, family history of cancer, environmental and work factors.

  1. How does cancer start?

Your body has different types of cells that grow, divide, become old, and die in the normal cause of life. Usually, new cells replace these dead ones. However, sometimes cells grow out of control and form a growth instead of dying.

Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Cancerous tumors attack and kill your body’s tissues spreading to other parts of the body, causing new tumors to form. This is known as metastasis.

  1. Is cancer genetic?

Yes, cancer is a genetic disease. This is because cancer is caused by mutations or changes to genes that regulate the way our cells work, causing them to act irregularly. In about 5-10% of all cancer cases, these mutations were passed to the next generation.

  1. Can I vaccinate myself against cancer?

No, there is no vaccine for cancer. However, there are vaccines for some viruses known to cause cancer, such as the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B.

  1. Is cancer curable?

Yes. When the treatment seems to be working, the doctor might say the cancer is in remission. Partial remission happens when cancer shrinks but doesn’t disappear. Complete remission means there is no sign of cancer anymore. The longer it is in complete remission, the less likely it is to come back.

  1. Is cancer contagious?

No. Cancer is not contagious. You cannot get cancer from someone who has the disease.

  1. Does cancer have stages?

Yes. It has four stages: 1 through 4. However, some cancers have a stage 0.

  • Stage 0: The tumor is still in the place it has originated from and hasn’t spread.
  • Stage I: A small tumor that hasn’t grown deep into nearby tissue. Often known as early-stage cancer.
  • Stages II and III: Larger growths or tumors deeply extending to nearby tissues, and may have spread to lymph nodes but not to other organs.
  • Stage IV: At this stage, cancer has expanded to other organs or parts of the body. It is called metastatic or advanced cancer.
  1. How do cancer drugs work?

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also hurt normal cells in the process, producing side effects. Targeted therapy uses drugs to block genes or proteins discovered in the cancer cells. This normally results in less harm to healthy cells, but it still has side effects.

  1. What are the signs of cancer?

Sometimes there are signs, but not always. The signs and symptoms of cancer depend on where the cancer is and how big it is. As cancer progresses, it can push on nearby organs and other structures resulting in pressure that can cause symptoms.

Some cancers grow in places where they won’t cause any signs or symptoms until they have advanced. For example, pancreatic cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms most times. The symptoms start when it grows large enough to push on other structures, causing pain, or revealing signs of jaundice.

Some usual signs and symptoms of cancer are seen in many other conditions as well and can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Skin changes
  • Bowel habit or bladder function changes
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Unusual bleeding or secretion
  • A thickening or mass in a part of the body, such as a breast.
  • Indigestion or trouble swallowing
  • A fresh change in a wart or mole
  • A nagging cough or hoarseness

The best way to find out what’s causing any symptom is to see your doctor. If you notice any of these symptoms and they don’t pass, get a doctor’s advice immediately.

  1. When should I get tested for cancer?

Suggestions for the types of screening tests and when you should get them to vary.

Please see this guideline for cancer testing.


Men: Colon cancer check

Women: Breast, Cervical & Colon Cancer checks

30 -39 –

Men: Colon cancer check

Women: Breast, Cervical & Colon Cancer checks

40 -49

Men: Colon and Prostrate cancer checks

Women: Breast, Cervical & Colon Cancer checks


It is also a great idea to see your doctor on what sort of test you might need and when.

Now that you have this knowledge, the next step is to act. Our health plans provide extensive coverage for you or your family and team. After a year of being covered, you get to access the critical illness benefits at no extra cost. Start now and get insurance before you need insurance.

Cheers to a healthy, cancer-free life.


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