Cancer is a critical and human issue, and there are multiple individuals, if not at least everyone, who was not touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly. World Cancer Day is on Thursday, 4 February 2021, where we recognise that our commitment to act will lead to powerful progress in reducing cancer’s global impact. Our actions – big or small – will make a positive, lasting change. High-five to a cancer-free world?!
Of course! Let’s honour those currently fighting and those who’ve been sadly lost to this dreadful disease. We aim to use this day to create awareness and help people understand more about cancer and inspire them to take action so that hopefully, not as much people will have to live with it.
Various types of cancer exist, some more severe than others. The disease most commonly arises when cell mutations lead to growths called tumours. Cancerous growths can start to spread and infect other body parts, if not treated. There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s extremely serious. It’s the second-largest cause of death after cardiovascular diseases, and it particularly impacts socio-economically disadvantaged communities and countries.
2021: Together, All Our Actions Matter
Since 2019, World Cancer Day’s theme runs with the ##IAmAndIWill campaign showing us that our actions impact everyone around us – from neighbourhoods, communities to cities. Whatever we choose to do, will also be felt across borders and oceans. Together, we can achieve a healthier, brighter world without cancer.
Over a third of cancers can be prevented, and a further third is curable if detected early. Unfortunately, risk factors such as age and genetics are beyond humans’ control. Still, we can reduce our risk and protect our health by quitting smoking, reducing our alcohol intake, applying sunscreen, and staying active. Of course, there are treatments available, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but it’s vital to stop cancer in its tracks before reaching this point.
- World Cancer Day is celebrated worldwide by lighting up landmarks and sites in orange and blue – do the same within your community whether it’s your residential post box or the street lamp in front of your home.
- Educate yourself and those around you and get involved with local cancer initiatives that support the 3-year campaign. Search ‘World Cancer Day’ and find the resources that interest you most to contribute to this special day.
- If cancer involves you directly, address the anxiety and stigma surrounding the disease by talking to others to help reduce the feelings of fear and distress and create a sense of unity and togetherness. There are multiple support groups, but remember that your family should be your primary support system.
- Donate to a cancer organisation and help raise funds for research, education and care. Attend cancer events throughout the year and not just on this day. Get creative and move out of your comfort zone by trying something else like long-distance cycling for this worthy cause.
- Take the quiz and see what type of health leader you would be if you were to take a top job in health. You might surprise yourself. Take the 21-day cancer challenge and pledge to bold and brave actions to reduce the impact of cancer.
Let’s work together in making cancer awareness and prevention our #1 priority this month and the months to follow. The time to act is now!