- One out of every six deaths in the world is due to cancer. In India, the number is one out of 11 deaths.
- 17 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year, globally. India is home to over 1.1 million new cases each year.
- 30% of all deaths due to cancer can be avoided through changes in lifestyle.
The above figures are only the tip of the iceberg in a long list of shocking statistics that prove the need to focus on a worldwide epidemic — cancer. The fourth of February every year is commemorated as World Cancer Day in a bid to unite governments, organisations and people across countries, against cancer. This initiative was started by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in the year 2000. The governments of over 60 countries have pledged their support to this cause so far. Several large world organisations like the World Health Organisation are supportive of this endeavour.
What does the World Cancer Day address?
World Cancer Day is commemorated to fulfil three primary goals. Firstly, it aims to counter the misinformation surrounding cancer. Lack of accurate information is responsible for patients not seeking timely treatment for their cancer. Misinformation around the causes of cancer, the effects of cancer and the treatment of cancer leads to an increase in preventable deaths the world over. Educating people to dispel myths around cancer can improve the use of healthcare to combat this much-feared disease.
Secondly, World Cancer Day seeks to raise awareness about the ways in which to prevent cancer through a healthier lifestyle, screening and diagnosis in the pre-cancer stage. Cancer is preventable in a majority of cases. Awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol, the role of obesity in cancer and other such risk factors can go a long way in reducing the number of deaths due to cancer. Awareness of vaccines for hepatitis and HPV can also help prevent certain types of cancers like liver cancer and cervical cancer.
Thirdly, World Cancer Day hopes to reduce the stigma associated with cancer. In several cultures, cancer is considered a taboo topic and patients are avoided and isolated. This callous response to cancer prevents people from seeking timely medical help, and prevents them sharing experiences. Support from family and society improves the likelihood of a person surviving cancer and aids their physical and mental recovery.
Onco.com’s #SpeakUp campaign for World Cancer Day
In view of the above three goals, Onco.com is running a campaign #SpeakUp this World Cancer Day. Speaking up about cancer involves countering misinformation around cancer and spreading awareness about the prevention and treatment of the disease. It is also about creating a platform where we can share our own cancer journeys. Speaking about cancer helps us come to terms with it, face it, defeat it while also encouraging others who are facing their own battles with cancer.
We could be someone who’s just been diagnosed with cancer, or someone who has fought the disease and conquered it; either way, it is important for us to talk about it. As a caregiver, as a medical practitioner, as a supporter, in every role, there is a need to compare notes on how others cope with cancer. Onco.com provides a safe place to share such cancer experiences at Talk Your Heart Out events that are held in several cities across India.
Join us, and together, let us raise awareness on Cancer
Do you want to be a part of World Cancer Day? There are many ways to do this. We can also choose to be a part of this fight for a cancer free world in whatever way we can. Here are some things you can do:
- Watch our #SpeakUp video, and take a pledge to speak up about cancer. Not speaking about cancer won’t make it go away. The more we talk about it, the easier it will be to deal with it, without fear and with hope.
- If you or anyone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, get a second opinion on the course of treatment you are undergoing. Find out from our panel of top oncologists about the best course of treatment for you. Our initial assessment is free of cost. Click here to know more.
- Screening tests can detect certain types of cancers in the early stages, while they can be treated more easily. Ask your doctor about the screening test that is most suitable for you and your loved ones.
- Learn about the cancer journey of others and share these stories with your family and friends. You can read such cancer stories here. Such stories help us realise that we are not alone in this struggle.
- If you have fought cancer yourself, come join our Onco Warriors team. Onco warriors help other cancer fighters face their worst fears by standing by them through their cancer journey. It could be a single conversation with you that motivates them to fight their cancer with renewed effort. No gesture is too small. Your experience will light the path for some else.
If you would like to be an Onco Warrior and share your experiences with those going through this journey, click here
- Attend a Talk Your Heart Out event in your city. You will find a small group of people, cancer fighters, caregivers, and supporters, who have come together to share their cancer stories. Lend your ears to those who want to be heard, share your story with those who are looking for inspiration.
Check out the events across the world and pledge your support in whatever way you can. It could be through a donation, through the sharing of information, or simply by educating yourself so that you can manage your own health better.