World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4th of February, all over the world, to remember all the efforts done by the WHO, United Nations, governmental and non-governmental health organisations towards making the strategy to fight against cancer, as well as, distributing the real message about this epidemic disease and its treatments including its precautionary measures by uniting all the people a day on global basis. It aims to 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.
Cancer is not just a health issue, it is increasingly becoming a social issue that requires attention and action at all levels. Cancer is a leading cause of death in both, more and less economically developed countries. The burden is expected to grow worldwide due to the growth and aging of the population, particularly in less developed countries, in which about 82% of the world’s population resides. There are over 100 cancer types that exist nowadays and each of them requires unique diagnosis and treatment.
Globally, an estimated 8.8 million people die from cancer every year. However, it is the most ill-equipped countries that bear the brunt of this disease, with 70% of deaths occurring in developing countries. Child cancers also highlight the inequality factor that plays such a large role in cancer, as survival rates differ greatly between high-income and low-income countries. In South Africa, you have a 19% chance of being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75, statistically speaking. In addition, there are 77 440 new cancer cases each year.
We, at World Assembly of Youth, believe that the World Cancer Day is an opportunity to reflect on the multi-stakeholders and multidisciplinary nature of cancer control. We will only be successful in the fight against cancer through strong collaboration between wide ranges of stakeholders: policymakers, researchers, civil society, medical professionals and academia - and, last but not least, patients. We urge youth to start caring about their health by reflecting it in their lifestyle as to prevent is always better than to cure. We all, as a collective or as individuals, can do our part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
World Cancer Day is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.
Stay Healthy, Live Free from Cancer!