World Cancer Day is observed all over the world on 4th February to spread awareness about cancer, its diagnosis, detection and treatment at an early stage. The day commemorates the contributions and efforts made by WHO, United Nations, NGOs and governments. It also formulates new strategies to intensify the fight against cancer. The day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) for supporting the goals of the World Cancer Declaration written in 2008.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), every year around 8.8 million people in the world succumb to death due to the disease. Hence, the main goal of observing the World Cancer Day is to create awareness and fight against the disease to reduce the number of cases and deaths due to Cancer.
This year the theme of the World Cancer Day is #WeCanICan. It is the second year of the ongoing campaign, aimed to unite people for intensifying fight against the disease. Experts believe that proactive actions can help in saving millions of preventable deaths (around 4 million people) by spreading awareness and education about the disease through rallies, marches, initiatives, seminars and social media pressing governments and individuals across the world to take effective actions. For example, #NoHairSelfie movement was started to encourage people for shaving off their heads either physically or virtually in order to support people undergoing treatment for cancer.
The main event is organised by UICC every year which involves the participation of various NGOs, research agencies, government representatives, medical experts and individuals. The idea is to target common people and educate them about the leading causes of Cancer such as chewing tobacco, smoking ciggrattes, obesity, unhealthy food habits, lack of physical activity, sexual transmission of HPV-infection, genetic factors, overexposure to sunlight etc. They are also informed about the vaccination method against both the human papilloma virus and hepatitis B virus. Experts present encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyle, practice balanced diet and weight management in order to reduce the risk of occurrence of the deadly Cancer disease.
Another important aspect of celebrating this day is to end stigma and various myth related to the disease prevalent in society. Several cancer survivors have started their own foundations and are now engaged in cancer care treatments. Yuvraj Singh’s case is one famous story from India where the charismatic cricketer after fighting the deadly disease is back on the field scoring centuries. Many other celebrities who have fought cancer have came out creating awareness about the disease.
On this day, Fiinovation urges businesses to develop diagnostic centers across the country under CSR to help early diagnosis and treatment which is essential in the fight against cancer.
“On World Cancer Day, we have an opportunity to collectively examine cancer control strategies to identify winning formulas that will accelerate progress. The goal for all of us 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 beyond.” – Heather Bryant, VP, Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
By Manisha Bhatia
Media & Communications, Fiinovation