Today is World Cancer Day

Learn how you can take action to spread awareness and further progress in the fight against cancer.
World Cancer Day
Each year 10 million people are lost to cancer and projections indicate that the number will rise to 13 million by the end of this decade, unless we all take action.

2021 Theme

Created in 2000, World Cancer Day has “grown into a positive movement for everyone, everywhere to unite under one voice to face one of the greatest challenges in our history.” Each year, organizers select a theme meant to inspire and encourage individuals, educational institutions, nonprofit groups, government entities and businesses to join together and take action in the fight against cancer. The theme for World Cancer Day this year is “I Am and I Will” — an empowering  mantra to remind us that our actions impact everyone around us, even those sometimes across borders. Harnessing the power of working together for coordinated results, the theme, though representative of the power of one, is meant to unite us in the name of a greater cause.

Issues to Address

In our own journeys to enact positive change, we must focus on the primary issues related to cancer and its spread:

Lack of awareness. Many don’t have proper education about ways to prevent cancer or perhaps have subscribed to myths surrounding the disease. This can be remedied by researching and promoting true, scientific information presented by reputable sources. Knowledge is the ultimate power and making informed decisions about nutrition, lifestyle choices and other factors that contribute to cancer can save lives. Social media is a powerful way to spread correct information in addition to good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth conversations with family, friends and colleagues.

Government accountability. Each country allocates resources differently for cancer research and awareness. It’s our job as citizens to hold them accountable for making the best decisions that are in the interest of the people. When governments promote healthier populations by making a strong effort to reduce cancer diagnoses and deaths, it positions their countries to be leaders in economic and social pursuits.

Equal access to cancer services. When you lobby for and support the efforts of groups fighting for socio-economic equality, you help increase the chances of closing the very real gap in access to cancer resources. More access means more lives saved and more suffering minimized.

Reducing the skills gap. Currently there is a shortage of healthcare workers, which can impact the quality of care given to cancer patients. By encouraging undecided students who may want to enter a life of service to others, and promoting career changes in the medical field to adults seeking a more rewarding role, we can increase the chance for positive experiences of those suffering from cancer.

Emotional support. By validating the mental health struggles such as depression that can impact cancer patients and their families, we can work toward helping deliver positive treatments and support to those in need.

Next Steps

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world, yet at least one third of all types of cancer are preventable.

On this World Cancer Day, make a commitment to take action in whatever way you can. Some ideas including searching the Activity Map to see if there are any events in your area you may want to take part in (note: most are virtual due to the pandemic); participating in the 21 Days to Impact Challenge; or sharing your own personal story of your battle with cancer or how cancer has impacted your life through friends and family who have had the disease.

You can also share this post to your social networks or volunteer your time/donate funds to your favorite cancer charity.

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