World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is dedicated to raising awareness about cancer. Observed every year on February 4th, the mission of this holiday is to encourage healthier habits to prevent cancer, as well as to promote better healthcare access to help patients catch the diseases early on. World Cancer Day also advocates for new treatment measures and to encourage hope among victims.

This holiday was first formed in 1933. World Cancer Day is put together by the Union for International Cancer Control. This organization is based in Switzerland, but it works with groups in various other countries to put together a World Cancer Day campaign. For example, the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Livestrong all serve the campaign on behalf of the United States. The advisory group helps to put together a plan of action for every World Cancer Day, which includes a global theme.

Cancer Facts

According to World Cancer Research Fund International, about 12.7 million people had cancer in 2008. By 2030, this number is anticipated to rise up to 21 million. While a part of this expected increase may be attributed to population growth, another contributing factor is a lack of awareness and access to healthcare. World Cancer Day helps to promote awareness about various cancers so people around the world can gain better access to the help they need.

A cancer diagnosis is made based on the origination of the tumors. Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world among both men and women. The goal is to help treat cancer before it spreads to the lymph nodes as well as to other parts of the body. Your chances for survival are greater if the cancer is treated at its origination.

Observance and Celebration

World Cancer Day is recognized globally in many different ways. Not only does the United Nations observe this day, but other organizations across the world can celebrate the holiday in their own way. Many of the celebrations focus on the year’s theme, while others are dedicated to cancer victims and survivors.

Fundraising is a big part of World Cancer Day. Special luncheons, dinners and other meals may be held as a way to raise research money for specific forms of cancer. Other events can include fundraiser walks, parades and family activities. This day is also a special opportunity to help raise public awareness of cancer in the form of ads, announcements and free educational events. Some communities even offer free cancer screenings.

Special Focuses in 2013

Each year, World Cancer Day operates with a theme that will help educate the public as well as promote call to action. The designated theme for 2013 is “Cancer – Did you know?”, which aims to clear up misconceptions about cancer. Four main myths will be cleared up, including that cancer is:

  • Merely a health issue
  • Always deadly
  • An individual’s fate
  • Only affects certain social or economic groups

The fact is that cancer can happen to anyone, regardless of an individual’s background. At the same time, treatment innovations and early detection processes have made it possible for patients to find cancer and beat it for good. World Cancer Day aims to remind individuals of these facts while helping to promote better health for everyone.

By: Kristeen Moore