4 February is World Cancer Day: this is a global event that takes place at the same time every year to unite the world in the fight against cancer.
While everyone knows that cancer exists – and may even have lost someone to the disease – there’s still a lot more to know; especially when it comes to prevention. The slogan for World Cancer Day 2016 is #ICANWECAN – let’s look at 5 things you can do, and 5 thing we can do, to fight cancer.
- Know my family history. If your family has a history of certain cancers, then it’s worth everything to know, and to tell your doctor.
- Prevention by lifestyle. Whether you have a family history of cancer or not, maintaining a healthy weight, getting the right nutrition and regular exercise, quitting smoking and drinking moderately are all ways to prevent cancer.
- Getting tested. Doing regular self-examinations of your skin, breasts/testicles and keeping that annual appointment with your GP or gynae – these are all vital parts of staying cancer-free. Even if you do pick up the start of cancer, early detection means far higher chances of a positive outcome.
- Caring for those fighting cancer. If someone close to you is undergoing treatment for cancer, it helps to read up on all aspects of their treatment so you’re better able to help them through a difficult, but necessary, process.
- Pass on what you know. Talk about cancer – pass on information to your children and the people you know. Awareness about sun and skin cancer is an example.
- Tell our stories. By telling their stories, people living with cancer increase our knowledge about cancer prevention and early detection. Most important: cancer survivors help us to understand that we can fight cancer!
- Support the heroes who care for those at the end of their journey. Find ways to donate time, funds, items or raise awareness for hospices and carers who fulfil this amazing role.
- Join in. Take part in awareness events like ShaveAThon, Movember or RelayForLife – find them here.
- Create a healthy environment. Clean water, no second-hand smoke, less stress and plenty of encouragement to exercise – these are all part of a healthy environment at home or work.
- Talk about it. Keep the conversation about cancer prevention and early detection going.
Those are 10 things any of us can be part of – let’s fight cancer together: WE CAN!
Joanne Hart for HelloDoctor.com