A 20-km marathon race will be organised in London on Sunday to spread awareness about cancer, Roko Cancer Charitable Trust global ambassador Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal said on Saturday.More than 16,000 people, including directors of Barclays and NatWest banks and other high-profile personalities, were expected to participate in the event, which would be flagged off by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, he added.
He said the UK-based trust would also hand over the running of a 500-bed cancer hospital built by the trust at Ferozepur, to the state government in the last week of August for early detection and treatment of the disease.
Announcing that a door-to-door awareness campaign would also be conducted across the state, he added, "Currently, the Malwa belt is known as the national cancer capital, and awareness about the disease is low in the state, especially in that region. Though the state government has started a campaign to deal with the problem, their efforts would not be enough."
Trust advisor (Punjab) Yogesh Goyal said the trust would organise 500 camps every year in association with NRIs and social organisations across the state.
"In the past two years, we have come across 969 cancer cases in Punjab and have been giving them medicines free of cost. We also screen them for blood pressure and diabetes on a regular basis. Cancer is completely curable if detected early, so we will distribute 10 lakh leaflets and CDs among people to generate awareness," said Goyal.
A report issued by the trust said that over 12 million people are diagnosed with the disease every year, while 7.6 million die of the disease.
"The good news, however, is that experts estimate that 40% cases can be prevented, if detected early. Also, many women fear breast cancer more than any other kind of cancer because it kills 40,000 women a year, and mastectomy, a common surgical treatment, removes the entire breast. A good alternative is lumpectomy, which involves cutting out only a small part of the tissue and is barely noticeable," said Dhaliwal.
The report also revealed that cancer cases could increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in 2020. In 2000, malignant tumours were responsible for 12% of the total 56 million deaths from all causes worldwide.