Tuesday 4th February 2020 is World Cancer Day!
A yearly global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is a positive change movement to raise awareness, improve education and enlist government action against cancer. By working together, we can reimagine a world where cancer is preventable, treatment is accessible, and care is equitable. As part of a 3-year campaign, the theme “IAmAndIWill” is about individuals and the world making the ongoing commitment to action. The goal is to reduce the number of premature deaths by cancer and noncommunicable diseases by one third by 2030. Together, we can make a difference!
Cancer is a broad-spectrum term for a disease when cellular changes cause uncontrollable growth and division of cells. Whilst some forms of cancer manifest into visible growths such as tumors; others such as leukemia, do not. The changes in cells are generally the result of a combination of genetics and external risk factors such as tobacco use, obesity, infection, diet and exercise or air pollution, just to name a few. It is important in the prevention of cancer, that we actively promote healthier lifestyles and modify and avoid risk factors that increase the risks of cancer.
With the development of modern technologies, cancer treatments have become more medically advanced than ever before. There are many treatment options that doctors may prescribe based on the cancer type, its stage in development and the overall health of the individual. While a combination of treatments is usually used and leads to a higher success rate, early detection generally offers the highest chance of being successful. That is why it is important to always seek medical advice if you notice anything out of character in yourself or if you know you have a family history of cancer.
The Origins of World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day was created on February 4th, 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer in Paris. The Paris Charter aims to promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, raise awareness and mobilise global communities to make progress against cancer. It aimed to provide those at the charter with a clear pledge for the future.
What can you do to help on World Cancer Day?
- Get personal; create your own customer social media post with your own promise and commitment. Share it with the world
- Light up the world; make a statement by lighting up a significant landmark, monument or building. Illuminate it in orange and blue on World Cancer Day
- Translate materials; help our volunteer translators to make campaign posters, materials, factsheets and infographics to give access to as many people as possible
- Spread the word; write a blog, record a video message, write an article for a newsletter or reach out to your local journalist
- Join the action; show your support by showing up, attend an event near you or participate as a volunteer
- Create an event; inspire others by hosting a World Caner Day event. This could include flash mobs, free movie screenings, a world record attempt, fundraisers or fun runs. Spotlight your planning and get as many people involved as possible
Stories of Survival
Knowing about other people’s personal experiences with cancer can act as a source of inspiration on your own cancer journey. Cancer is a terrible disease that affects nearly everyone worldwide. Nearly everyone has either been fighting cancer, knows someone with cancer, is caring for someone with cancer or has had some interaction with cancer supporters. Stories of incredible survival and love motivate individuals to engage with others and can highlight the importance of early detection and symptoms to look out for.
“Telling my kids, then aged 10 and 13, that I had breast cancer was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do…The radiation really took it out of me and I was pretty tired all the time…Today I have been cancer-free for seven years but I’ll never forget the lesson learnt along the way.” – Kelly Heritage
“I’m still paying the price for a youth spent unaware of the harmful effects of UV, but I know that I’m preventing further damage every time I protect myself.” – Jim Maxwell
For further information about cancer support groups, or to read some more amazing stories of survival, visit the Cancer Council website.
World Cancer Day is a day of awareness, a day of education and a day of action. Take a stand on Tuesday February 4th, 2020 and make a difference to the lives of people fighting and supporting those with cancer