Guwahati,17.02.19-The State Cancer Institute (SCI) along with Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), an initiative of the Tata Trusts and Government of Assam organised a Cancer Walkathon ( SCI to Ullubari flyover) on Sunday (February 17) for five kilometres. This event was organised on the second anniversary of SCI at Guwahati to create awareness about this disease and promote healthy lifestyle.

Cancer Walkathon is being organised with an objective to aware people about cancer, risk factors, symptoms and treatment and facilities available for the treatment of this disease; mobilise the community towards screening for early detection of cancer; mobilise for common cancers after the age of 30 years and to create awareness about the ill-effect of consuming tobacco.

It is to be mentioned as 48.2% adult population in Assam consume tobacco products. According to Global Adults Tobacco Survey 2017, 50% of all cancers and 90% of all oral cancers are due to tobacco consumption. Every year 32,000 new cancer cases are detected in Assam because of consuming tobacco in form of smoking and chewing. 70% of the cancer cases are presented at a late stage.

The use of tobacco products (e.g. smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco) are the single most preventable cause of death worldwide. Cancer is more prevalent in people above the age of 30. So if you are 30 get yourself screened.

Free screening will be done for all the participants taking part in Cancer Walkathon. Students, defence personnel, teachers, doctors, nurses, health professionals, government institutions, non-government organizations and community based organizations take part in this event.

The Cancer Walkathon give message to the people that Cancer has to be a community driven program where each one educates and mobilises the other; to enhance the knowledge about the nature of cancer as a disease, its diagnosis and treatment; to make the people aware about probable signs and symptoms, environmental risk factors so that the people willingly participate in the screening programs and to diminish stigma associated with cancer.

Vara Prasad, CEO of ACCF said, "The purpose of Walkathon is to assess the level of awareness and impact of awareness programs in adoption of safe practices in prevention and early detection and helping people to understand the signs and symptoms of cancer, encourage them to know what’s normal for them and give them the confidence to speak their concerns"

Dr Nirmal Hazarika, "To take the message of cancer to the community it is important to conduct regular events which are inclusive. Cancer Walkathon 2019 saw a participation of more than 2500 people. Walk a Step Ahead of Cancer to Beat Cancer is an apt slogan or message in the walkathon since most of the cancers are preventable and it is upon each one to take preventive steps like self awareness, cancer screening and tobacco control.

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