Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day takes place every year on February 4 and is the singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. 

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), through which the aim is to help save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. 

The theme for World Cancer Day 2013 is Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Cancer - Did you know?”. World Cancer Day is a chance to improve general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. From a global level, the message will focus on following four myths.

Myth 1: Cancer is just a health issue.

Truth: Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide-reaching social, economic, development, and human rights implications.

Myth 2: Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries.
Truth: Cancer is a global epidemic It affects all ages and socioeconomic
groups, with developing countries bearing a disproportionate burden.

Myth 3: Cancer is a death sentence.
Truth: Many cancers that were once considered a death sentence can now be cured and for many more people, their cancer can now be treated effectively.

Myth 4: Cancer is my fate.
Truth: With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.

Did you know that each year, over 12.7 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and 7.6 million people die from the disease? If no action is taken, the worldwide cancer burden is expected to reach 26 million new diagnoses and 17 million deaths by the year 2030, with the most rapid increases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. 

It’s not all bad news as 30-40% of cancers can be prevented, and one-third of cancers can be cured through early diagnosis and treatment. 
UICC aims to help people understand how to take steps to prevent cancer and live a healthier and longer life.

A Healthy Diet and Physical Activity
A healthy diet and regular adequate physical activity are of major importance to preventing cancer and maintaining good health throughout life.
*Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
*Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. 
*Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fiber, or high in fat). 
*Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
*Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats. 
*If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day. 
*Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium). 
*Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.

Quit Tobacco 
Tobacco kills more than 5 million people a year, an average of one person every six seconds. You can prevent cancer when you stop smoking, chewing and sniffing tobacco. Try to avoid exposure to passive smoke to further reduce your risk. 

Sun Exposure 
Excessive exposure to UV radiation (either from the sun or from artificial sources such as sun beds) is associated with accelerated skin aging and different types of skin cancer. Stop using sun beds and avoid excessive sun exposure. Remember to use sunscreens and protective clothing as an effective cancer prevention method.

For additional preventative measures, visit 
World Cancer Day – Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

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