February 4, World Cancer Day

”I am and I will”

Scientifically, cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells, spreading beyond their usual boundaries and sometimes invading into adjoining parts and organs of the body – a process known as metastasis. Socially, cancer is a disease more often defined by fear and stigma. This is understandable given the frightening statistics on cancer incidence, the agonizing treatments, and the soaring mortality rate of this disease; however, social misconceptions about cancer are a barrier to effective cancer control.

The goals of World Cancer Day (WCD), celebrated annually on February 4, are to establish better access to cancer diagnosis and treatment for all patients, and to provide supportive and palliative care, and rehabilitation services to patients and cancer survivors. Untrained personnel are a fundamental obstacle in the less developed parts of the world – where approximately 70% of cancer deaths occur1– while diagnostic delays and poor access to treatment are global challenges. WCD aims to dissolve all social myths surrounding cancer – by promoting awareness about risk factors, preventive measures and early detections, showing support and raising our personal and collective voices. Thus, cancer incidence and mortality rates can be significantly reduced.

Globally, 1 in 5 men and 1 in 6 women develop cancer during their lifetime, with 1 in 8 men and 1 in 11 women dying from the disease2. According to recent World Health Organization data, there were 9.6 million deaths attributable to cancer in 20182. By 2030, cancer deaths per year are projected to rise to 13 million3. These numbers could be dramatically smaller, given how one third of all cancers are preventable, and numerous cancers could be cured if diagnosed early1,3.  Making a conscious effort to limit risk factors contributing to cancer and knowing the warning signs of cancer is vital for efficient prevention and favorable treatment.

Tobacco plays a pivotal role in cancer, as it’s responsible for 22% of all cancer deaths4. Amongst others, tobacco is linked with cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, stomach and kidney. Second-hand smoke can also cause lung cancer. Physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and obesity raise the risk of esophagus, breast, colorectal, endometrium and kidney cancers, whereas a healthy, balanced diet can have protective effects. Moreover, high alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for cancers of the oral cavity, liver, esophagus, colorectal and breast. In 2010, there were over 300,000 alcohol-attributable cancer deaths5. Viruses, such as HPV, Hep B and Hep C are also responsible for a high number of cancers. Two-thirds of infection-attributable cancers – amounting to nearly 1.4 million people – occur in less-developed countries5. Vaccination against infectious agents can significantly reduce the risk of liver and cervical cancers, resulting in over 1 million less deaths6. Additionally, environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens and inappropriate radiation use can increase cancer risk. Reducing air pollution, and simple acts like applying sunscreen and avoiding excessive sun exposure can reduce chances of developing cancers of the lung and bladder, mesothelioma and leukemia. By avoiding or limiting these risk factors, cancer incidence can fall by 30-50%5.

Detecting cancer signs and symptoms promptly is important to avoid diagnostic delays. If a cancer is detected early – when it’s still small and hasn’t metastasized to other organs yet – chances of successful treatment are better. Some of the signs include unexpected weight loss, fatigue, pain and skin changes, with different cancers having more specific symptoms. Reliable screening programs, that can detect the disease early – ideally before the onset of symptoms – could play an integral part in early detection, improved treatment, and survival rates. Common screening tests are the PAP test for cervical cancer, mammogram for breast cancer, and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, most screening tests don’t have high sensitivity. Moreover, certain cancers like liver, stomach or pancreas currently do not have screening tests. Consequently, tissue biopsies – which are invasive, expensive and painful – are currently the main detection method of cancers.

Hence, an area of particular excitement in the cancer field is the liquid biopsy test – a blood test that can tell you whether there is a raised risk of cancer in the body along with the location of the cancerous site. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is released into the bloodstream from cancerous cells and tumors. This ctDNA varies from ‘normal’ DNA as it has acquired genetic mutations (alterations) due to the tumor. Importantly, ctDNA levels vary depending on tumor type, location and cancer stage. Therefore, it is possible to detect the presence of ctDNA in the bloodstream, check whether the cancer has metastasized and guide tumor-specific treatment according to the properties of each cancer. Another benefit of this advancement is that because it is a simple, painless blood test, it can be performed at various stages during treatment to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy depending on the ctDNA amount and monitor the patient’s remission.

Today, we know more about cancer than ever before. We know that by raising awareness and support, and by investing in research and innovation, extraordinary breakthroughs can occur. Breakthroughs that improve cancer prevention and diagnosis rates, increase the progress of care and treatment and empower all of us – cancer survivors, family and friends – to stand up to cancer.

References:

  1. World Health Organization (2018). ‘Key Facts’, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer
  2. World Health Organization Press Release (2018). ‘Latest global cancer data: Cancer burden rises to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2008’. International Agency for Research on Cancer.
  3. World Health Organization (2019) ‘Key Statistics’, https://www.who.int/cancer/resources/keyfacts/en/
  4. GBD 2015 Risk Factors Collaborators. (2016) ‘Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990-2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study’. Lancet. Oct; 388 (10053):1659-1724.
  5. World Health Organization (2019). ‘Cancer Prevention’. https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/en/
  6. Plummer M et al. (2016) ‘Global burden of cancers attributable to infections in 2012: a synthetic analysis’. The Lancet Global Health. Sep;4(9):e609-16. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30143-7


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NIPD Genetics - Privacy Policy

General Statement

This Privacy Policy applies only to www.nipd.com and its subdomains (hereafter collectively referred to as “Sites") that link to this policy. NIPD Genetics Sites are owned by NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd and are operated by NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd and on occasion by a third-party that is responsible for the technical maintenance of the Sites.

If, you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, please do not access or use any of NIPD Genetics Sites.

NIPD Genetics values your interest in NIPD Genetics, its products and its services. NIPD Genetics takes the protection of your data seriously.

Personal data for purposes of this Privacy Policy, is any information by which you can be individually identified, including, but not limited to, your name, profession, address, e-mail address, and telephone number.

You may contact NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd at
NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd
Neas Engomis 31
Engomi, Nicosia
2409, Cyprus

NIPD Genetics Data Protection Officer can be reached at dpo@nipd.com

This Privacy Policy applies only to the Sites as defined above and which are operated by NIPD Genetics. The NIPD Genetics Privacy Policy seeks to inform the users of its Sites of the following:

NIPD Genetics will not use or share your information with anyone, except as described in this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy does not apply to any information we might collect by other digital and offline means and or from other digital and offline sources. The use of information collected through our Sites shall be limited to the purposes under this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use to customers.

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Sites and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Sites. By using the Sites, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from www.nipd.com

Type of personal information NIPD Genetics may collect through its Sites

Information Collection And Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Sites and services to you.

Personal Data

While using NIPD Genetics Sites, you may be asked to provide NIPD Genetics certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you ("Personal Information"). Personal Information that might be used to identify you includes, but is not limited to:

If you send us a query via our Contact us form, your email address, the content and any follow up emails are retained indefinitely.

Cookies and Usage Data

Usage Data

We may also collect information how the Sites are accessed and used ("Usage Data"). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer's Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Sites that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Sites and hold certain information.

Cookies are files with small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Tracking technologies also used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze our Sites.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Sites.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Session Cookies. We use Session Cookies to operate our Sites.

Preference Cookies. We use Preference Cookies to remember your preferences and various settings.

Security Cookies. We use Security Cookies for security purposes.

Visitor behavior cookies. To understand how visitors use and navigate the Sites

Keyword cookies. To understand how visitors discover the Sites.

Use of Data

www.nipd.com uses the collected data for various purposes:

Transfer of Data

Your information, including personal data, may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside Cyprus and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including personal data, to Cyprus and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

www.nipd.com will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your personal data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

NIPD Genetics complies with the protection of personal data regulation and will not sale or trade your personal data.

NIPD Genetics may disclose your personal data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate, maintain or operate our Sites ("Service Providers"), to provide the SItes on our behalf, to perform service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Sites is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Sites.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.

You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.

For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page

Access to your personal data, correction, deletion, and Opting Out

You have the right to review, update or delete any of your personal data by sending a request at NIPD Genetics Personal Data Officer pdo@nipd.com

Links to Other Sites

Our Sites may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that third party's site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third-party sites or services.

Children's Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 ("Children").

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the "effective date" at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact pdo@nipd.com

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