World Cancer Day: Beating Cancer, Remembering, and Taking Action

Posted on February 4, 2019 by kerri

While every diagnosis of a medical condition can be life-altering, there are few diagnoses that bring the shock and potential feelings of doom as a diagnosis of cancer. Everyone knows someone who has cancer, has survived cancer, or has been lost to cancer. 

Screening and prevention

Fortunately, cancer screening is getting more and more effective and efficient for many types of cancer. Screening is often quick, simple, and most often painless. Depending where you live, public health services may provide reminders of screenings when you reach the age of eligibility, or you may have to consult your doctor who will connect you with screening services.

Treatment advances

In 2018, cancer mortality (deaths) dropped “another 1.7%” according to the American Cancer Society. [1] This is thanks to not only better early detection thanks to screening, but also treatment advances that lead to better chances of survival for people with cancer. Another reason cancer survival is increasing is that smoking rates have been steadily decreasing [1], leading to better outcomes and overall better health. However, despite this, smoking remains the greatest cause of cancer related death, responsible for 30% of deaths caused by cancer. [1]

Cancer in children

Unless a child in your life has had a cancer diagnosis, most of us more quickly think of adults with cancer who we know rather than children diagnosed. 83% of children with cancer diagnosed in 2007 to 2013 pass the 5 year survival mark, compared with 58% of those diagnosed between 1975 and 1977. [1] That is a 25% improvement, though there is always more work to do.

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is acknowledged on February 4th. Ask cancer survivors in your life how they might like to commemorate the day with you. If you have lost someone to cancer, consider what you can do in their memory, such as planting a garden at a hospital they spent time at or bringing patients flowers, volunteering, donating to a charity, or doing an art project to hang at home in their memory. 

The World Cancer Day website is among the best awareness day websites I have seen—with a tool asking your relation to cancer, and how much time you have to help, it offers tools so that we all can help raise awareness this World Cancer Day.

1 – https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/facts-and-figures-2018-rate-of-deaths-from-cancer-continues-decline.html

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