February – National Cancer Prevention Month
National Cancer Prevention Month marked every February is upon us, ushering in yet another opportunity to spread the word and take action in order to live better, healthier, and happier lives. Cancer, said to be the world’s leading cause of death, caused nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. Throughout the history of mankind, cancer has been in existence. Although not much was known about the human body, the earliest evidence was recorded via papyri that can be traced back to ancient Egypt in 1500 B.C. when tumors were found on the breast. Over the years, although no cure has been found, with landmark achievements recorded, we are closer than ever.
NATIONAL CANCER PREVENTION MONTH TIMELINE
The Earliest Record of Breast Cancer
The Edwin Smith papyrus shines the light on breast tumors in ancient Egypt.
460 B.C. — 370 B.C.
The Origin of the Word ‘Cancer’
Credited to Greek Physician Hippocrates, it originates from the Greek word ‘καρκίνος,’ or ‘karkinos,’ translated as ‘crab’ or ‘crayfish,’ owing to the appearance of the tumor.
The First Recorded Case of Cancer
Advancement in the understanding of cancer has been witnessed, and by this time, the first documented case is documented — eight tumors occurring on the breast.
The Foundation for Oncology Is Laid
Italian anatomist Giovanni Morgagni lays the foundation for scientific oncology, the study of cancer.
The World’s First Radical Mastectomy Is Performed
U.S surgeon William Halsted pulls off the first-ever radical mastectomy involving the removal of the breast, muscles, and axillary lymph nodes.
The First X-ray Is Taken
On November 8, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovers X-rays and this groundbreaking discovery has benefited various fields since.
A Revolutionary Lung Drug Is Made Available
The antimalarial drug Sotorasib is made available by the N.H.S., and patients in England first benefit from the revolutionary new drug that can halt the growth of tumors.
WHY NATIONAL CANCER PREVENTION MONTH IS IMPORTANT
1. Prevention is the key
It reminds us to make healthy choices, note risk factors, and decrease the chances of the disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our lifestyle choices go a long way.
2. Stay on a top progress report
The day reminds us to stay up to date with cancer updates, research, progress reports, and new developments. Cancer, directly and indirectly, affects us all.
3. It reminds us to value ourselves
Amid the hustle and bustle, National Cancer
Prevention Month reminds us that health is wealth. We do need to take our
health seriously to stay alive.
The most effective preventative measure against the disease is to stop smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk.