Today is World Cancer Day. All around the world, cancer awareness is being brought to the forefront by dedicated organisations and individuals who have made it their mission to educate and raise awareness on this dreaded disease.
Many of us have been affected by cancer one way or another; either directly or indirectly. Some may have family members and friends who have cancer, some may have lost loved ones, and some who are reading this may be suffering from this dreadful disease. Cancer doesn’t discriminate – regardless of age, gender or creed, anyone is fair game.
The World Cancer Day theme for this year (and for the next two years), “We Can. I Can.” aims to explore how everyone - organisations, communities and individuals - can play their part in reducing the global burden of cancer. The campaign is about how we can all take action to save lives through making fighting cancer a priority.
So what can you do to help the fight against cancer?
Take Care of YOU
You can start by taking care of yourself. Your lifestyle plays a huge part in maintaining your health so make healthy lifestyle choices – quit smoking, be physically active, and nourish yourself with nutritious and healthy food and drinks amongst others.
Early detection saves lives so make it a point to learn about the signs and symptoms of the various types of cancer.
Have a/Be Someone’s Support System
Having cancer will take its toll on the individual and having a dependable support system can make all the difference in the world. Having people around who will share and support the physical and emotional ups and downs will allow people living with cancer to adjust better and improve their quality of life.
Make Yourself Heard
Whether it’s your own treatment or speaking up for others, making your voice heard can make a difference. Make sure your doctor chooses the treatment that you are comfortable with, communicate with policy and decision makers, engage in public campaigns, share your story – you can be a powerful agent of influence and change.
Live Your Life
Where possible, restore normality and routine back into your life. Going back to work after cancer treatment can be daunting and difficult but it will restore a sense of normality, stability, social contact and income.
Communities can also make an impact. Below are some of the things you can do as part of your community.
Push for actions that will reduce premature deaths and improve the quality of life and survival rates of cancer patients.
Let others know on the importance of taking care of themselves and how poor lifestyle choices can increase cancer risks.
In many societies, cancer is still a taboo subject and those living with cancer find it difficult to seek help and support for fear of discrimination. Help to dispel the myths on cancer by helping others to understand the disease.
Strive for Change
Healthcare is something that should be accessible to all. Unfortunately, it’s not. Be part of the change and advocate for improved cancer treatment and services for all.
The fight against cancer is a tough one but we can all play our part in reducing the risks of cancer and reducing its impact.
We Can. I Can.