With World Cancer Day set for the 4th February, we look at the impact of information on this ‘dreaded disease’. The word dreaded already instils fear which made me re-look at the existing campaigns driving cancer awareness. As a start how do I as an individual who already have lost family to cancer and have a very dear one diagnosed with bladder cancer, participate in reducing this burden of cancer?
World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what we can do to take action; however can this really be an awareness campaign that takes place on 1 day of the year? Surely, a reality of this magnitude deserves the utmost urgency and priority both in dialogue and action.
Education on preventative measures and awareness on lifestyle choices would be top on my list in this instant. We have 365 days to thrash this out and drive attention to our everyday decisions we make about our bodies both physically, mentally and emotionally.
For instance did you know that the top four cancers for females in South Africa are breast, cervical, colo-rectal and lung cancer?
Did you know that the top four cancers for males in South Africa are prostate, Lung, oesophageal, and bladder cancer?
These cancers can be broken down further depending on which community you hail from. The next obvious question is what are the factors contributing to the diagnosis of these cancers?
How do we stay cancer free…is there such a thing (cancer free) and what success stories are out there on recovery and beating the cancer?
To take an example from actress Angelina Jolie who had both her breasts removed before being diagnosed….Is this the only way to prevent breast cancer of which her Mom had suffered from? Let’s open this debate and speak about our options and related actions.
I recognize that through organizations such as CANSA and awareness days poses an opportunity to create the awareness to take this forward. However we would like to vigorously participate and have an opportunity to collectively examine cancer control strategies to identify winning formulas that will accelerate progress.
The goal for all of us is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are treated successfully and that there is a better quality of life for people during treatment and beyond.”
written by Rayana Edwards
UniMedia PR and Communications
Photo Credit: UniMedia Pro