04 February: THE international day against cancer

World Cancer Day is the singular initiative under which the UICC (Union for International Cancer Control), its members, partners, supporters and the entire world can unite in the fight against the global cancer epidemic which each year claims the lives of 8.2 million people worldwide. Unless immediate action is taken, this figure is set to soar by almost 80% by the year 2030.

Research suggests that one-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through education, the dispelling of myths and misconceptions and addressing the known killer risk factors including tobacco, alcohol, poor diet and physical inactivity, some viruses and infections, sun and UV exposure. Cancer prevention is consequently at the heart of all World Cancer Day campaigns, with the 2014 Call to Act firmly following suit.

This year´s World Cancer Day, 04 February 2014, themed ´Debunk the myths´, focuses on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, and ultimately aims to better share and disseminate actual cancer facts as well as dismiss such misunderstandings around the disease.More specifically, it will concentrate on the following four general falsehoods concerning cancer which are common around the world:

·      Myth 1: We don´t need to talk about cancer

     TRUTH: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level.

·      Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer

     TRUTH: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable.

·      Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer

     TRUTH: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level, and with the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.

·      Myth 4: I don´t have the right to cancer care

     TRUTH: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence.

To find out more, get involved, spread the message and support the cause visit: www.worldcancerday.org.

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