After witnessing two cancer deaths in my family, I understood how hard it is for a family to bear the loss. So I strongly feel that a planned approach towards prevention and elimination of cancer, and especially lifestyle related cancers, is the need of the hour in developing nations where resources are limited. A large proportion of a nation’s population is comprised of young adults. They can make a huge difference by adopting and propagating some simple strategies which will not only decrease the risk of development of cancer in older individuals but also in their own age group.
It has been shown that a significant number of cancer cases are preventable if we change our lifestyle habits and make healthier choices. Since most of the lifestyle choices are formed and molded during young adult years, it is important to get this message across before young people begin to pick up unhealthy habits. This is why a nation’s youth is so important in the fight against cancer. We need involvement of students, because they will listen to their peers and will follow what the people in their age group do.
The roots of any developing nation lie in its villages. So any strategy or plan should begin here and proceed up to national level in a step wise approach. People in villages do not know when to report to a doctor and when not to. I remember an incident where a girl from a village was rushed to the hospital when she had her first menses. The point here is that people need to be made aware of difference between physiological processes and warning symptoms which may sometimes point towards a serious disease process like malignancy. Today’s youth is very active on the internet. It has become very easy and trending to just type a symptom and search for the possible causes. Our youngsters should make appropriate use of such things and spread awareness among their friends, relatives, neighbors and other people who are still not used to the world of web. They can also organize seminars, group discussions and tell people about healthy lifestyle, risk factors, warning symptoms, etc.