World Cancer Day is the one initiative under which the entire world can unite in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. It takes place every year on February 4. World Cancer Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
The day is important because the global cancer epidemic is huge and is set to rise. Every year, nearly 8 million people die of cancer and many of these deaths can be avoided with increased governmental support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programs. Unless urgent action is taken to raise awareness about cancer and develop practical strategies to address the disease, millions of people will continue to die. Significantly, the number of cancer cases and related deaths worldwide is estimated to double over the next 20-40 years, with the greatest increase in low and middle-income countries. Those and the contries which are least equipped to cope with the social and economic impact of the disease. However, one in every three cancer cases could be prevented and World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word in order to help these numbers decrease for the future generations.
World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a leading international non-governmental organization dedicated to the prevention and control of cancer worldwide. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC's growing membership of over 765 organizations across 155 countries, features the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centers and patient groups.
Here are the four myths that this program would like all of us to read and then spread the message to others:
- Myth 1: Cancer is just a health issue
Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications.
Fact: Cancer constitutes a major challenge to development, undermining social and economic advances throughout the world.
- Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries
Truth: Cancer does not discriminate. It is a global epidemic, affecting all ages, with low- and middle-income countries bearing a disproportionate burden.
Fact: Cancer is a global issue and becoming an increasing public health problem in developing countries.
- Myth 3: Cancer is a death sentence
Truth: Many cancers that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people their cancer can now be treated effectively.
Fact: Advances in understanding risk and prevention, early detection and treatment have revolutionised the management of cancer leading to improved outcomes for patients.
- Myth 4: Cancer is my fate
Truth: With the right strategies, more than one in every three cancers can be prevented.
Fact: Prevention is the most cost-effective and sustainable way of reducing the global cancer burden in the long-term.
This is a great opportunity to make a difference and spread the information presented here.