World Cancer Day
Today, 4th February 2016, is World Cancer Day. Taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can,’ World Cancer Day is the chance for the entire world to unite in the fight against the global epidemic – cancer. This day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer as well as pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. The goal is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are cured and there is better quality of life for people undergoing treatment.
Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). However, death rates for the disease are declining in the UK thanks to some of the amazing research that is being carried out in the fight against cancer. For example, cancer death rates in the UK have fallen by 10% in the past 10 years, according to a report released today by Cancer Research UK. Unfortunately though, this is not the case worldwide, with cancer incidence and mortality predicted to continue rising as people in developing countries start living longer and the world population continues to grow.
Efforts are currently focused on, but not limited to, early diagnosis and how to manage hard-to-treat cancers. Cancer Research UK’s chief executive said: “Today, one in two of all people diagnosed with cancer survive their disease for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four survive cancer by 2034”. The current World Cancer Declaration, put together in 2013 by world cancer leaders at a summit in Cape Town, has an overarching goal:
“There will be major reductions in premature deaths from cancer, and improvements in quality of life and cancer survival rates.”
To achieve this, the Summit’s World Cancer Leaders have put together 10 targets that you can read here.
There are lots of different ways that you can get involved in World Cancer Day. You can see a range of ways you could get involved here; it could be as simple as sharing a message on social media or donating money. For instance, you may have noticed people wearing Unity Bands today and sharing their photos on social media. For this year’s campaign, Cancer Research UK is selling Unity Bands and encouraging people to write the names of their loved one who are or have suffered from cancer on their hands. The hashtag #ADayToUnite is being used widely across Twitter today to help everyone get involved. The focus of World Cancer Day this year is to get as many people as possible to join together to help raise funds to continue vital research in the UK. You can purchase a Unity Band and support the work of Cancer Research UK here. Charities like Cancer Research UK rely on donations to keep this vital research going; your donations make a huge difference.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #ADayToUnite, #WeCanICan and #WorldCancerDay.