Around the globe since 2000, February 4th has been recognized as World Cancer Day.
Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is dedicated to awareness about this deadly disease. There are plenty of ways we can offer support. Personal involvement, community involvement, and government involvement are just a few.
Cancer knows no age, race, economic status, or gender, but there is hope. Each year, millions of lives are saved with access to care and treatment. World Cancer Day is a call to action to ensure this care and treatment is provided equally to anyone who needs it, anywhere in the world.
This year’s theme is “I am and I will”, creating a culture of empowerment and determined personal commitment to be part of the progress to end cancer on a global scale.
Millions of cancer-related deaths are preventable each year, and great strides are being made in research and education on how to keep cancer at bay before it starts.
Certain risk factors for cancer are beyond our scope of control, for example, age and possible hereditary syndromes. There are, however, plenty of things we can do to avoid risk factors over which we do have control and try and be proactive in prevention!
Avoid overconsumption of alcohol
Studies have linked drinking to higher rates of cancer in the throat, liver, esophagus, breast, and more. The higher the consumption, the higher the risk.
Avoid exposure to environmental carcinogens
Most of us know that smoking and exposure to UV rays are major cancer causers. Other chemicals shown to be carcinogens are a little lesser-known. Click here for a list of environmental substances that may put you at risk.
Obesity may be linked to cancers of the digestive system, as well as breast cancer and endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women. Sticking to a healthy diet and getting some regular exercise are tried and true ways to help keep obesity in check.
Get proactive about potential infectious instigators
Certain bacteria, parasites, and viruses may be linked to an increase in cancer risk. These can interfere with cell-growth, cause chronic inflammation, and inhibit the immune system from doing its job properly. Regular check-ups with a health care professional and diligence about personal health practices are essential for catching these possible risks early. The NCI recommends refraining from unprotected sex and/or sharing needles. It also recommends getting preventative vaccinations.
These are just a few of the many risk factors associated with cancer. Education is key. Talk to your doctor regularly, and take good care of your body.
Also, get involved! Find out how you can be of service to those who need it, become engaged with your community to raise awareness, or even take to social media to get the message out. Let’s celebrate the possibility of a world where cancer is ancient history.
For more information about World Cancer Day 2020, visit