In South Africa, cancer is under–reported due to the lack of a comprehensive cancer surveillance system and this is a huge reason for concern.
With 1 day to go for World Cancer Day, communities around the world will hold festivals, walks, seminars and public information campaigns to raise awareness and educate people on cancer ‘ WE CAN, I CAN’.
We look at what South Africa has publicly planned on this day to collate with the rest of the world.
In Johannesburg the ‘One Step at a Time Campaign’, an initiative of the Breast Health Foundation will be hosting a 5km walk at Zoo Lake. This walk is known as the One Step at a Time Cancer Warrior Walk and invites all cancer warriors, families and friends.
In Cape Town the HPCA and the Cancer Alliance are hosting a 5km and 10km walk at the Castle of Good Hope, a historical landmark and premier events venue in Cape Town. They will be issuing colour laces to the first 5000 entrants and all tickets to this event was sold out online.
The theme for this day according to the World Cancer Day Campaign, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control in Switzerland remains the same as 2016 and 2017,” I CAN, WE CAN” drawing clear lines between the individual versus the collective. Evidently it does become a collective challenge as the disease affects the family and close ones the most.
WE CAN: inspire action, take action; prevent cancer; create healthy schools; create healthy schools and workplaces; create healthy cities; support others to return to work; challenge perceptions; improve access to cancer care; shape policy change; build a quality health workforce; make the case for investing in cancer control; join forces to make a difference.
I CAN: make healthy lifestyle choices, understand that early detection saves lives, ask for support, return to work, take control of my cancer journey, love and be loved, make my voice heard.
With approximately 8.2 million people who die from the disease worldwide every year, over the next ten years, it’s projected that cancer deaths will increase to over 14 million per year.
As we continuously explore how everyone together and individually can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer, I must ask what is your pledge, right here right now in South Africa?