About this Campaign
Cancer kills more than 8 million people every year.
That’s more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
4 million of these victims are between 30 and 69.
The big question is, however, how many of those cancer deaths could have been prevented?
Way more than you might think.
Consider the three most deadly forms of cancer: lung cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer. Surprisingly lung cancer is one of the most common diagnosed forms of cancer as well. We find it the most often, but it kills the most people.
There is an important piece missing that too many people are still failing to recognize. Lung cancer is highly preventable.
And it’s not the only cancer that we can beat through preventable measures.
Sadly there is not a single cure for all cancers. There is not a magic pill. There is no special treatment that can get rid of all cancer all of the time. Cancer is much more insidious than that. While advances in cancer treatment have improved the odds of beating cancer once it is identified, the most important part of beating the cancer is to find the cancer as quickly as possible.
It’s not by happenstance that the three most diagnosed cancers in the United States are lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Patients in the United States are constantly screened for these conditions. Mammograms, colonoscopies and pap smears are such a part of our society we don’t question that they are necessary. Every annual check-up or any doctor’s appointment includes a lung check.
But what is perfectly normal in the United States is certainly not normal elsewhere.
Women are regularly checked for cervical cancer in the United States and other developed countries, but the vast majority of cervical cancer deaths - 90 percent of them - happen in less developed areas where regular screenings, or any screening at all, are infrequent.
Despite the efforts in developed nations to research and find cures for cancer, world-wide cancer diagnoses continue to rise. In 2014 there were 14.1 new cancer cases. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer predicts that there will be more than 19 million new cancer cases diagnosed every year by 2025.
It would appear that Cancer is getting worse - not better, despite our best efforts.
World Cancer Day
But perhaps our best efforts are making a change that we can’t see yet in the statistics. February 4 is World Cancer Day. The Union for International Cancer Control worked hard to bring cancer prevention, detection and cures to the forefront of the entire world’s attention, and for many years now, February 4 has been the day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate how far we’ve come and to respect how far we still have to go.
In 2015, the goals of World Cancer Day are less about the scary parts of the disease, but more about what we can do to make a change. These goals are to:
- Choose a healthy life
- Deliver early detection
- Achieve treatment for all
- Maximizing quality of life
What You Can Do to Help
Cancer is not a local problem – it affects us all. Rich or poor. Tall or short. Degreed or not. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes immediately to help yourself and others. Start with small changes like recognizing the day on your social media profiles to promote awareness world-wide.
Then make more changes in your own lifestyle to eat healthy foods, stay active and maintain regular check-ups and screening. Finally consider donating to the many programs world-wide working to bring what we take for granted in medical care to the rest of the world.
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