World Cancer Day 2017

February 02, 2017

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites.

Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.

World Cancer day takes place every year on 4th February, uniting the world in the fight against cancer. It aims to raise awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the globe to take action, and get people talking about cancer.

We can. I can.

The theme for World Cancer day 2017 is ‘We can. I can.’ exploring how we can all as a group or individually do our part to reduce the global burden of cancer. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.

“Preventing millions of unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer is not outside of the world’s scientific or financial capabilities,” said Dr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

“It will however require collaborative action at both individual and collective levels – spearheaded by key leaders in society. Governments have made global commitments to priority actions for addressing cancer, we now need to see these converted to national investments in treatment centres, services and skilled health workers, as well as health promotion. Employers can play a crucial role also by investing in the well-being of their workplace and the wider environment which they impact,” he added.

With more than a third of all cancers (up to 4.5 million per year) preventable through lifestyle interventions, UICC also calls on individuals to take responsibility for reducing their own cancer risk. Simple measures such as stopping smoking, eating less red and processed meat, exercising regularly and reducing alcohol use can extend a healthy life, and must be seen as the first-line of defence against cancer and other associated non-communicable diseases.

Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). World Cancer day is an opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media.

To learn more about World Cancer Day or to find out how you can get involved, please visit the World Cancer Day website.