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World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is an international day marked on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Started in 2000 at the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium, World Cancer Day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer and is an opportunity to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer. It targets misinformation, raises awareness and reduces stigma. Multiple initiatives are run on World Cancer Day to show support for those affected by cancer. One of these movements is #NoHairSelfie, a global movement to have "hairticipants" shave their heads either physically or virtually to show a symbol of courage for those undergoing cancer treatment. Images of participants are then shared all over social media. Hundreds of events around the world also take place.

Why is cancer awareness important?

Cancer is a devastating disease, which has caused great harm to millions of people across the globe. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there were an estimated 18.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2020. Of these, 9.3 million cases were in men and 8.8 million in women.


Cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage is more likely to be treated successfully. Many cancers show early signs and symptoms, indicating that something isn’t quite right. These include breast, cervical, colorectal, skin, oral and some childhood cancers. This is important to know because finding cancer early almost always makes it is easier to treat or even cure, which means improved chances of survival and quality of life for people diagnosed with cancer. What’s more, recognising early warning signs of cancer is cost-effective and, in many cases, doesn’t require any specialist technologies.


Key Cancer Facts

  • 10 million people die from cancer every year.

  • At least one-third of common cancers are preventable.

  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide.

  • 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.

  • Millions of lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.

  • The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion.


What can we do?

  1. As individuals, we can teach ourselves and the people close to us – including parents, caregivers, teachers and others in our communities - about the common signs and symptoms.

  2. Volunteer your time and skills to make an impact here.

  3. Donate, to help TCP fund chemotherapy for financially underprivileged patients.

  4. Access accurate cancer information. By being informed, you can counter your misconceptions and reduce your fears about cancer. Through knowledge, awareness and understanding, you are empowered to challenge negative beliefs and attitudes in others that perpetuate myths about cancer.

 

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