There are over 200 cancers, but 63 million of us. World Cancer Day is a day to unite in the fight against cancer. The international day is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
This year alone, nearly 8 million people will die of cancer, and left unchecked, the number of deaths will increase to 13.2 million per year by 2030. There is an urgent need for action to raise awareness of the disease and to develop practical strategies to reduce the burden of cancer.
The goal for all of us on World Cancer Day is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are successfully treated and that there is a better quality of life for people during treatment and thereafter.
World Cancer Day is a day is a chance for us to reflect on what we can do to help aid ourselves by taking steps to prevent cancer. The aim is to ensure more people are successfully diagnosed and treated and patients undergoing treatment.
So what can we do to help prevent cancer?
Many of our patients smoke, many of our friends, colleagues, family smoke. But by cutting down or even quitting you can greatly reduce your risk of tobacco associated illnesses. Tobacco use accounts for 5 million deaths a year. That’s a scary number. Most people nowadays are aware of the health risks associated with smoking, its 2018 and we are far from the days when smoking was seen to be a glamourous social activity. Reducing tobacco use will significantly reduce the global burden of so many cancers, including; lung, oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, oesophageal, pancreas, bladder, kidney, cervix, stomach and acute myeloid leukaemia. So why not start your new year’s resolution late and try and cut down or quit for 2018?
If we can make just a few lifestyle changes it can go a long way in helping to prevent cancer. Research has found that more than a third of cancer is preventable. So from this I personally will try to adapt my lifestyle by simply making a few changes here and there; I might take the stairs over a lift, swap my takeaway for a cooked at home fakeaway and replace my glass of wine for a peppermint tea.
By making just a few small changes to our lives we can try to help prevent cancer and that’s worth a shot right? I’d like to think so.
If you would like to research what you can do to help in the fight against cancer take a look at the world cancer website http://www.worldcancerday.org/