This week has been marking an important day in cancer awareness with World Cancer Day on February 4th.
Aimed at uniting the world’s population in the fight against cancer and preventing millions of deaths each year, the campaign raises awareness and encourages education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
World Cancer Day was established by the Paris Charter adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium in Paris on 4 February 2000. This Charter aimed at the promotion of the research for curing as well as preventing the disease, upgrading the provided services to the patients, the sensitisation of the common opinion and the mobilisation of the global community against cancer.
Participants are encouraged to raise awareness about the disease beyond the date of the annual World Cancer Day. “Even if you have an event, activity or campaign that does not fall on 4 February, please add it (to our online map of impact) anyway. The map is a platform and a great opportunity to show the world all the great work our community is doing to reduce the global cancer burden,” organisers say.
Why World Cancer Day is Important
- Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).
- World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media.
The key messages of the campaign revolve around directives that include taking action, making healthy lifestyle choices, understanding that early detection saves lives, challenging perceptions, asking for support and supporting others, improving access to cancer care, shaping policy change and returning to work.
Speaking to HealthManagement.org for our autumn issue on cancer care, Christopher Paul Wild, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer said: “From a global perspective the necessity of cancer prevention stares us starkly in the face. However, the response is not to prioritise prevention over treatment but rather to ensure an integrated, balanced approach based on complementarity within overall cancer control planning. Treatment and care is a must for all cancer patients, but there is also a duty of care to the next generation, to free as many as possible from the experience of cancer.”
Image Credit: WCD