Stomach cancer, a silent guest to watch out for

On Tuesday, February 4, World Cancer Day, the Colombian League Against Cancer launched the campaign "Stomach cancer, a silent guest", to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of this disease suffered by more than 7,000 Colombians.

Stomach cancer is considered an initially silent enemy in its early phase, as it usually produces mild and non-specific symptoms very similar to the symptoms of gastritis or an ulcer. For this reason, medical check-ups are very important to detect it in time.

The digital campaign was launched at the Avenida Chile Shopping Center (Cl. 72 # 10-34), from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a staging where Colombians will be able to see how this cancer develops in the body.

Every February 4, World Cancer Day is commemorated around the world, a date to raise awareness about the importance of preventing and detecting cancer on time. On this occasion, the Colombian League Against Cancer wants to emphasize the prevention and early detection of stomach cancer, since it is one of the types of cancer with the highest mortality rate (74%), hence the importance of medical checkups, since it often presents in an advanced or late stage.

Stomach cancer is the protagonist of the digital campaign. The staging that the Colombian League Against Cancer presents within the framework of World Cancer Day in order to educate the population about risk factors and challenges of this type of cancer, invites all Colombians to take immediate action on their own health under the hashtag #YoSoyYVoyA.

According to figures provided by the World Health Organization in September 2018, there are more than 1 million new cases of stomach cancer every year in the world. In Colombia, the figures on this disease set off alarm bells: 7,419 diagnosed patients, with a mortality of 5,505 people each year. This is equivalent to 74.2% of the cases.

Furthermore, in Colombia, stomach cancer is twice as common in men, with 4,578 new cases, than in women, with a report of 2,841 new cases. Currently, Helicobacter pylori infection is considered to be one of the most important risk factors for the appearance of stomach or gastric cancer, since this bacterium, which is transmitted due to improperly treated food or the consumption of undrinkable water, can damage the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Medical check-ups are key to determining its existence, its treatment and preventing it from triggering gastric cancer.

The digital campaign, donated by Sancho BBDO, began with an educational video through social media and later, at 8:00 a.m., the corridor in front of the Avenida Chile Shopping Center was the residence of the silent guest: a staging that recreated the passage of a guest who, at first glance, behaves like the ideal resident because they are nice, has good manners and appears to be harmless, but who later becomes a serious problem to the point of destroying the place where they live.

A bad host represents those factors that can trigger gastric cancer in our body: unhealthy lifestyle habits, Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, ulcers, obesity, family history, advanced age, among others.

Just as the lodging will be destroyed after the passage of this bad host, bad lifestyle habits such as the consumption of smoked or excessively salty products, junk food and lack of exercise, are generating progressive damage to the body, which can develop gastric cancer. It is important to emphasize its prevention, taking into account that the projections also generate concern.

According to the estimates of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in Colombia by 2030 it is expected to have 11,000 new cases of stomach cancer and by 2040 the figure would double to more than 14,800 new cases.

According to Dr. Jairo Ospina, a gastroenterologist from the Bogotá Sectional Colombian League Against Cancer, the silent nature of this disease makes it necessary to emphasize, in addition to healthy lifestyle habits, regular medical check-ups. “The invitation to Colombians is to recognize their own silent hosts, to identify the possible damage they are doing to their bodies and to act to prevent this damage from triggering cancer. On World Cancer Day, we all have to take concrete actions to prevent this disease”, concludes the specialist.

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