Every year, on the 4th of February, the continents unite for World Cancer Day. Most people have known someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, and how stressful the experience can be for both the sufferer and the loved one.
So charities fight all year round to raise awareness for this cause. But, on this day in particular, charities such as Cancer Research UK, UICC and many more strive to increase awareness.
The charities all try to educate individuals about the disease, what you can do to help as an individual and how we can all help collectively.
The World Cancer Day website hopes to raise awareness through their “We can. I can.” campaign.
In the following post we go into more detail about this campaign and how we can all get involved.
The “I can” aspect of the campaign focusses on things that you can do as an individual. Whether this be supporting others, making healthy lifestyle choices, asking for support if you suffer from cancer or sharing your story.
There are many ways you, as an individual, can help. We have outlined 2 of the 10 ways below, but you can head over to the World Cancer Day website to see them all in more detail.
Ask For Support
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, and don’t know what to do, have no shame in asking for support. And support can come from many places, be it family or trained professionals.
A strong support network is vital for any person suffering with cancer, or their carers. If you do need support to get you through this tough time, you can also visit the Macmillan website for more information.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
It’s been known for a long time that our lifestyle choices have a massive effect on our health. Be in smoking, excessive drinking or just one too many burgers.
By now, smoking should be a no-brainer. It accounts for 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the UK, and it is easily preventable. Stubbing your smoking habit out will greatly reduce your risk of lung cancer.
But there are other less obvious choices you can make. Overexposing ourselves to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin cancer. Even if it’s not scorching hot outside, the winter sun can still penetrate your skin.
If one person can do something and make a difference, imagine what we as a collective group can achieve! The “We can.” aspect of the campaign focusses on the things we can do together to help fight cancer.
Things like creating healthy environments, challenging perceptions, improving access to cancer care or just inspiring and taking action! There is only so much you can achieve by yourself, so let’s work together.
Create Healthy Environments
We can all influence each other in creating a healthier environment. Little things such as smoke-free workplaces, and offering healthy school lunches, can help reduce the risk of cancer. These seemingly small changes can make a big difference!
Workplaces and schools can help to foster a healthy environment of early detection and cancer prevention. These initiatives will be carried over into people’s personal lives – benefiting everyone around them!
Work Together for Increased Impact
Many different stakeholders, such as governments, civil society organisations and cancer groups, work together to stop cancer. By uniting together, they can all create one single voice that can increase the impact of their efforts.
This key point helps to reinforce the “We” aspect of World Cancer Day’s campaign. As we mentioned before, cancer is a problem that we will all face, directly or indirectly, at some point in our life. But together, we can help each other through the tough times and fight cancer.
With great initiatives worldwide, such as World Cancer Day, people are constantly researching and discovering new treatments. So much so, that cancer survival in the UK has doubled over the last 40 years!
People donate to cancer-related charities all-year-round. That money is then funding research, efforts to increase awareness, and ultimately, to beat cancer.
Cancer is becoming, at a growing pace, a more understood disease. It is only a matter of time until all cancer types out there have a suited treatment. But, until then, we need to keep raising awareness!