Every year on February 4th, World Cancer Day seeks to spread awareness for cancer. This day also focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
Every year, 17 million new cases of cancer throughout the world are diagnosed. Cancer will be fatal for nearly 10 million of those who receive this news. By the year 2040, it is estimated that there will be 27.5 million new cases of cancer. The most common cancers include lung, female breast, bowel, and prostate.
Despite the prevalence, it is possible to reduce the risk of getting cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, these things can help to prevent many types of cancer:
- Avoid tobacco or stop using it
- Eat a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and limited amounts of processed meat
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Never have unprotected sex
- Keep up with routine medical screenings
Sadly, it’s not just adults who get cancer. This deadly disease also affects children. About 300,000 children around the world are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the United States, cancer is the most common cause of death by disease for children. Some of the most common types of childhood cancers include leukemia, brain cancers, lymphomas, and solid tumors. Many childhood cancers do not have a known cause. Early diagnosis and access to treatment greatly increases survival.
Certain countries have higher cancer rates than others. Australia has the most new cases of cancer. Every year there are 468 new cases for every 100,000 residents. The United States ranks fifth on the list. Each year, there are about 352 new cases per 100,000 residents. Other countries that have high rates of cancer include New Zealand, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, France, and Denmark.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldCancerDay
This day is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Events on this day include free cancer screenings, educational discussions on recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer, training public health officials on how to detect cancer, and live events on social media. A provider of cancer services, The Icon Group, encourages its staff, partners, and loved ones to spread messages of hope on paper butterflies to those who need it most.
- Reach out to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer
- Learn about the ways to prevent the risk of cancer
- Donate to a cancer support or cancer research organization
- Read about famous cancer survivors like Colin Powell, Olivia Newton-John, and Robin Roberts
- Wear a lavender ribbon to spread cancer awareness (there are also other colors that represent specific types of cancer)
- If you’ve been affected by cancer, share your story to encourage others.
My father lost his battle with prostrate cancer in January 2011. If Cancer has touched your life it is important that we continue the search for cures.
Whatever you do on this day, be sure to share it on social media with #WorldCancerDay.
WORLD CANCER DAY HISTORY
The Union for International Cancer Control established World Cancer Day on February 4th, 2000. The day was founded in Paris at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium. Today, there are over 900 World Cancer Day events held in 127 countries.
Don’t forget International Childhood Cancer Day is February 15th.
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