January 31, 2019
World Cancer Day is an internationally marked day on the 4th of February (since 2000) founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), raising awareness of cancer, the encouragement of its early detection, treatment and more importantly, its prevention. The aim of World Cancer Day is to reduce the illness and death rates caused by cancer, internationally, educate on preventable types of cancer and the acknolwedgement of pain and suffering that is experienced by patients, friends and family when coping with this disease.
Mary Kay, solicitor here at Spencers wrote a post in late November detailing the effects of delays in the diagnosis and the importance of the timing of a cancer diagnosis. Mary writes ‘Receiving a cancer diagnosis for yourself or for a family member or close friend can be devastating; particularly if the disease is at an advanced stage or has spread into different parts of the body.’ The aim of World Cancer Day is to raise awareness and bring together communities, even entire countries to raise awareness of this awful disease and to act against it.
According to the World Cancer Day website; 9.6 million people died from cancer last year despite at least one third of common cancers being preventable. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide with the total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion. Additionally, up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment. As stated modifiable risk factors of cancer are; alcohol, being overweight or obese, diet and nutrition, physical activity, tobacco, ionising and radiation, work place hazards and infection.
The figures detailed are a shocking reminder that even though cancer is well recognised internationally, there is still a lot more that can be done to combat this disease and put measures in place for its prevention. With the promotion of factors that cause a risk of cancer there is a hope that people will become more alert to what could potentially harm their body and what they can do to reduce their risk of developing the disease.
Cancer Research UK details that in 2018, 18 million world-wide were diagnosed with cancer with 360,000 of those in the UK alone, nearly 990 people every day. With Public Health England leading the Be Clear on Cancer Campaigns delivered in partnership with the NHS to raise the public awareness of common symptoms and signs of cancer. The type of cancers covered by the campaigns are;
- blood in urine
- ovarian cancers with an additional breast cancer campaign running for over 70 years.
These campaigns are to give knowledge to the public of general symptoms of cancers and encourage confidence when people are discussing their symptoms with their GP with an overall goal of early diagnosis and prevention. The earlier a diagnosis, the better the outcome of the treatments and fewer side effects for patients.
With the help of World Cancer Day on the 4th of February, the awareness of this devastating disease can be further promoted and can assist in the creation of change worldwide and beating cancer together. #worldcancerday
About the Author
Ben Maycock, Placement Student with Spencers Solicitors who is currently studying Law at Sheffield Hallam University