Every person knows someone who has been touched by cancer. There are over 100 different types of cancer, some triggered genetically and others triggered environmentally. Cancer is the cause of over one-third of deaths in Canada, making it the leading cause of death for Canadians. Many types of cancer are preventable, which is why World Cancer Day is so important.
What Is World Cancer Day?
World Cancer Day is a three-year campaign, which was established by the Paris Charter from the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris on the 4th day of February, 2000. Beginning in 2016, February 4th is a day of global recognition for those who have been affected by cancer and awareness for how the global population can prevent, detect, and treat cancer. It is a day of reflection—what are you doing to help yourself and those around you live a cancer-free life?
If you’re interested in joining the global conversation this year on February 4th, don’t forget to share the hashtags on social media #WorldCancerDay and #WeCanICan.
The campaign stands on two pillars: we can and I can. Under each key message is a list of how you can personally approach cancer or how your participation in a group can communally examine cancer-control strategies.
- Inspire and take action
- Prevent cancer
- Create healthy schools, workplaces, and cities
- Provide support to others
- Challenge perceptions
- Improve cancer care
- Encourage policy change
- Invest in cancer control
- Come together to promote change
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Practice and encourage early-detection practices
- Never be afraid to ask for support
- Return to work
- Manage and control my own journey with cancer
- Spread the love and receive love in return
- Raise my voice loud and proud
Many types of cancers can be prevented by the way you lead your daily life. Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is an important way to protect your body from cancer among many other health-related problems. From cancer to dementia, diet and exercise play an important part in prevention.
Some of the most important diet tips for preventing cancer include eating lots of fruits and veggies, minimizing alcohol consumption, and avoiding processed meats.
Additionally, we all know that smoking is detrimental to our health and one of the leading causes of cancer. Yet, 19.9 percent of Canadians 12 years of age and older smoke. When you choose to smoke, you’re not only putting your health at risk, but also the health of those around you. This could be your children, elderly parents, or friends you’re subjecting to secondhand smoke because of your choices. This February 4th, it’s time to cut the cigarette and quit once and for all.
Early detection can make a huge difference in your life or the lives of your loved ones. Even if you demonstrate no symptoms, it’s always a good idea to partake in precautionary screenings for cancer. Cancer that is detected earlier can be easier to treat and reduce the risk of fatality.
The most important step to take is to speak to your doctor. Even if all you do this February 4th is book an appointment with your doctor, the day will have been worth it. Discussing your risks and scheduling a screening test may just be what saves your life—why risk not knowing?
Whether you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to have a full support system as you go through the stages of treatment. It can be an exhausting process for both the patient and their loved ones. Taking care of yourself, joining a support group, and maintaining healthy habits can all make the treatment process more tolerable.