Sins cause cancer! Unbelievable this sounds, but Assam health minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has just kicked up a storm by saying that some killer diseases like cancer are because of sins committed in past, which he called “divine justice”. “God makes us suffer when we sin. Sometimes we come across young men getting inflicted with cancer or young men meeting with accidents. If you observe the background you will come to know that it’s divine justice. Nothing else. We have to suffer that divine justice,” Sarma said during a function organised for distribution of appointment letters to teachers here yesterday.
“In this lifetime or in our previous life, or perhaps my father or mother… perhaps that young man did not do but his father has done something wrong. It is mentioned even in Gita, Bible about the outcome of one’s actions. No point in being sad… all will get the outcome of this life’s actions in this life only. That divine justice always will be there. Nobody can escape the divine justice that will happen,” he added.
Well, Sarma’s “divine” theory of cancer is getting the treatment it deserves from experts as well as other experts.
Here we present the real causes of cancer that that are outlined by the National Health Portal, which is developed and hosted by Centre for Health Informatics (CHI), at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) of Narendra Modi government at the Centre, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Definition of cancer: “Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell division that leads to abnormal tissue growth. Many a times, people often use the terms cancer and tumor synonymously. But all tumors are not cancerous.”
The National Health Portal has pointed out six reasons for cancer. These are
- Genetic mutations
- Harmful rays due to exposure to sun/ radiation
- Diet and physical activity
- Environmental factors
According to WHO, “Cancer arises from the transformation of normal cells into tumour cells in a multistage process that generally progresses from a pre-cancerous lesion to a malignant tumour.” It says these changes are caused by the “the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and 3 categories of external agents”. These include: physical carcinogens like ultraviolet and ionizing radiation;
Chemical carcinogens, like asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant), and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant);
Biological carcinogens like infections from certain viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
Watch Hemanta Biswa Sarma speech on cancer
- WHO says major risk factors for cancer worldwide include: tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
- Chronic infections including Helicobacter pylori, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus3 are also risk factors for cancer.
- WHO says Hepatitis B and C virus and some types of HPV increase the risk for liver and cervical cancer, respectively. Infection with HIV also substantially increases the risk of cancers such as cervical cancer.
- Across the world, around 1/3rd of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks These are: body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. Out of them, tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.
There are over 200 different types of cancer that affect human beings and most of the cancers are named from where they start.
According to WHO, around 8.8 million people died of Cancer in 2015 and $1.16 trillion was the total estimated economic cost of the disease in 2010. This has increased over the years.