I Am and I Will
Cancer continues to be a burden not just for those affected but for the entire world due to the rising number of cases and the high cost of treatment. It is estimated that globally, 1 in every 6 deaths is due to cancer. Over 17 million cancer cases were diagnosed in 2018 and more than 9 million deaths occurred in the same year.
In 2020, the theme for the World Cancer Day is I am, and I will. The campaign which started in 2019 will run until 2021. It focuses on urging everyone to show commitment and represent the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.
Common cancers include lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal, prostate, skin and stomach cancer. Common cancer deaths globally are due to:
- Lung cancer (1.76 million deaths)
- Colorectal cancer (862,000 deaths)
- Stomach cancer (783,000 deaths)
- Liver cancer (782,000 deaths)
- Breast cancer (627,000) deaths
The two very important questions to ask yourself on this world cancer day are: Who are you? And What will you do?
Fighting against cancer
Everyone can make an impact in the fight against cancer. As an individual, you need to:
- Get informed: Being informed is the best tool to use towards preventing or fighting any illness, not just cancer. By having knowledge about cancer, you will be able to know what signs to look for and what things to do so as to reduce your risk of developing the disease.
- Make smarter lifestyle decisions: Did you know that 1 out of 3 cancer cases are due to dietary and behavioural risks? For instance, tobacco alone is responsible for 22% of cancer deaths. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle plays a significant role in reducing your cancer risk.
- Speak up: Sharing what you know about cancer and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment with other people is important. That is the purpose of the World Cancer Day but you do not have to wait for 4th of July to share information on Cancer, do that throughout the year to reach more people and help them know what they can do to reduce their cancer risk. Aside from creating awareness on cancer be at the forefront of demanding accessible and affordable cancer treatment.
30% to 50% of cancers can be prevented, but how? A significant part of fighting cancer is by doing that which reduces your risk for the disease. It is everyone’s duty to reduce their cancer risk and you can do this by:
- Eliminating tobacco use including second-hand smoke because that too, can increase your risk of the disease.
- Reducing obesity and increasing physical activity to remain in the healthy weight bracket.
- Improving your intake of vegetables and fruits as they provide nutrients that are necessary in keeping away infections by strengthening the body’s immunity.
- Reducing exposure to indoor and urban pollution which can increase the risk for cancers like lung cancer.
- Reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation and occupational hazards.
- Early detection, which is another very crucial factor that contributes to reduction of cancer deaths because it makes timely treatment possible, thereby, increasing survival rate.
Progress is possible and you, in whichever category you fall, can make long-lasting positive change. What are you doing this World Cancer Day?