BY GARRET BURCHETT
The fight against cancer is a global one. And the fight ramps up on Feb. 4, on World Cancer Day, when the world’s population unites to raise awareness about the disease and to press both governments and individuals to take action.
“On World Cancer Day, we have an opportunity to collectively examine cancer control strategies to identify winning formulas that will accelerate progress,” said Heather Bryant, VP of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
The primary objective of World Cancer Day this year is to have as many people as possible, all around the world, talking about cancer on Feb. 4.
It’s being called the Thunderclap. It’s a way for everyone around the world to show their support and share the #NoHairSelfie all at the same time. And it’s easier than ever to show your support. While you can still physically shave your head, you can now virtually shave your head as well with the NoHairSelfie app.
World Cancer Day was established on Feb. 4, 2000, at the World Summit against Cancer for the new millennium in Paris, France. Sixteen years later, the goal remains the same –promote research for curing and preventing the disease and to mobilize the global community against cancer.
“The goal for all of us is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are successfully treated and that there is a better quality of life for people during treatment and beyond,” said Bryant.
The motto for this year’s World Cancer Day is “We can. I can.” It signifies how everyone, collectively or individually, can play a part in reducing the global burden of cancer. Cancer affects everyone in different ways, but each of us has the power to take actions to reduce the impact it has on individuals, families and communities.
For example, as a group, we can: inspire action, shape policy change, and work together for an increased impact. But even as an individual, I can: support others, make healthy lifestyle choices and speak out.
Over eight million people worldwide die from cancer every year, and that number is expected to rise to 11.5 million by 2025.
In Canada, cancer is the leading cause of death, responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths in this country. Last year 539 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer every day. On average, 214 Canadians died from cancer every day.
These numbers are echoed in other countries. They highlight the necessity of coming together on a day like Feb. 4, to support a cause that is truly a global challenge.