For the last 20 years, the 4th of February has been a very special day. World Cancer Day is a positive movement for those who face one of the greatest health challenges in history.
Cancer – the enemy in numbers
It is hard to fully comprehend what does it mean to be a cancer patient until you are one. It is also impossible to understand exactly what a family member feels while seeing a dying loved one until you experience it yourself. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. 9.6 million people die from cancer every year. This means dozens of millions of family members who suffer the greatest loss. It is also a total annual economic cost of some 1.16 trillion USD.
What may be even more disturbing is that at least one-third of common cancers are preventable. To put it into a different perspective, up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year. What is needed? Among others, there is a need for appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment.
What exactly is cancer?
Cancer is a disease that leads a group of normal cells to uncontrolled, abnormal growth. As a result, a lump or a tumor forms. Such a situation happens in all cases of cancer apart from leukemia. If it remains without treatment, a tumor can grow and spread. In many cases, it affects the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems. There are various types of tumors and cancer.
Though some of the reasons behind cancer are non-modifiable, we can reduce the risk by changing our behavioral and dietary habits. Among such changes can be reducing exposure to tobacco, alcohol, environmental pollution or radiation.
If you would like to know more about cancer, visit the worldcancerday.org/what-cancer.
World Cancer Day – history
The special commemoration day came to existence on the 4th of February 2000 during the World Summit Against Cancer. The main goal is to promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, raise awareness and mobilize global communities.
The activity of the Union for International Cancer Control has already brought visible effects. Each year hundreds of events take place worldwide to remind us that we all can do something to reduce the impact of cancer.
I am and I will
This year’s World Cancer Day’s theme is “I Am and I Will”. It is all about you and your commitment to act. The organizers believe that through positive actions, it is possible to reduce the number of premature deaths from cancer.
Support those who help
There are many organizations that fight cancer and help those who suffer because of it. Here are some of the organizations in Poland:
- The “Most Nadziei” foundation in Gdynia
- Rak’N’Roll foundation
- Saving Kids With Cancer Foundation
- Alivia Oncological Foundation
We encourage you though to browse more and to try to find as many ways to help as possible.
Prevention is the key
Early detection of cancer is very important in the fight with the disease. Such a scenario improves the chances of successful treatment, reduces side effects as well as costs for the patient.
Therefore do not hesitate. Contact your doctor to ask about the recommendations regarding testing and screenings.
The information in the article mostly come from the official website of World Cancer Day. We encourage you to visit it and get to know more about the disease and ways of preventing and treating it.