February 4th marks World Cancer Day. Led by the Union for International Cancer Control, the mission of World Cancer Day is to spread awareness and bring about action to create a cancer-free future. According to the American Cancer Society Journal, there were approximately 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10.0 million cancer deaths globally. Worldwide, the most common forms of cancer include breast and lung cancers. As modern medicine continues to advance, there is potential to live in a cancer-free future, but until then it is important to continue raising awareness and contributing to action to stop cancer from claiming lives globally. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of World Cancer Day.
Educate yourself on Cancer
The first step in helping to support the mission of World Cancer Day is to understand what exactly cancer is, how it comes about, and what treatment is available. Cancer is a family of diseases that result from abnormal cell growth. This growth can spread to other parts of the body destroying body tissues. The 3 main reasons as to why someone develops cancer is due to their genes, their habits, and/or their environment. There are a variety of treatment options available for cancer patients including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.
2. Maintain healthy habits
Given that cancers can develop due to poor lifestyle habits, ensuring that the habits you maintain are healthful and beneficial is important. Some healthy habits to incorporate into your life include not smoking, using sun protection (SPF) when exposed to sunlight, reducing indoor/outdoor air pollution, limiting alcohol consumption, eating healthy, and getting active. Doing these things help to lower your risk of developing cancer in the long term.
3. Upkeep regular screening
Another big way to help reduce your risk of developing cancer is by taking part in regular screening. Certain cancers, such as breast, colon, lung, and cervical cancers can be screened for before symptoms develop. Many of these screenings began past a certain age, so ensuring that you stay up to date on those screenings is a must. If cancer is caught in its early stages, it is easier to treat and cure. Check with your doctor to see which screenings you should start doing.
4. Support those who have cancer
If you know those in your life that have/have had cancer, be sure to support them in any way you can. Although in the modern age, the risk of dying from cancer has diminished, the risk for cancer diagnosis has increased due to people living much longer than they did before. That being said, providing support to those who have cancer and showing them that you care can make a big difference in their prognosis. Maybe you show support through helping them through their treatment or just by being there as a good friend, whatever it is, remember to be there for those who need you most.
Having all of this information on hand will help you make the most of this World Cancer Day. To learn more about how you can help out, visit https://www.cancer.org/