February 4th is World Cancer Day; it is a day that declares to the world that ending cancer should be a global health priority. It is an opportunity to raise all voices to improve awareness and knowledge of cancer and to bring light to misconceptions about the disease.
World Cancer Day is supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). This year they will aim to address four main myths associated with cancer via the question “Cancer - Did you know?” The United States shows their support by lighting up the Empire State Building in New York City to blue and orange, the colors of the UICC. The four myths are:
1.Cancer is just a health issue.
2.Cancer is a disease of the elderly, wealthy, and developed countries.
3.Cancer is a death sentence.
4.Cancer is my fate.
The key message is that cancer has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications. Cancer affects all, can be cured and treated effectively, and with the right strategies - a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. Not only is this day used to inform and raise awareness, but it is also meant to engage. Basic engagement could be communicating with your network via social media, Facebook, and their website. For more ways to engage and to view a map of events near you, go to www.worldcancerday.org/events-map.
The over-arching World Cancer mission is 1) to gather 1 million supporters for a Cancer-Free World and 2) to inform government leaders and policymakers of the growing cancer crisis in order to 3) reduce the global burden by 2020. They aim to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.
This incentive is inspirational, thought-provoking, and moves many people to action. Do you support World Cancer Day? What are you doing in your community to follow the noble goal of raising awareness, increasing knowledge, or supporting this mission? How do you predict this will affect you personally?