World Cancer Day in 2014 is February 4: Increase Awareness of Cancer

World Cancer Day in 2014 Is February 4: Increase Awareness of Cancer

People world over need to utilize the World Cancer Day (4th February) to create awareness regarding the severe implications of cancer, the causes, the rectifications and also removal of myths about cancer.

Washington: World Cancer Dayis marked on February 4 to raise awareness ofcancerand to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce death and illness caused by cancer by 2020.

World cancer day

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths – out of them 4 million premature cancer deaths i.e., between age 30 to 69 - (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. The main types of cancer are lung (1.37 million), stomach (0.736 mil), liver (0.695 mil), colorectal (0.608 mil), breast (0.458 mil), and cervical cancer (0.275 mil). Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030. This occurrence of 1.5 million pre-mature cancer deaths could be prevented per year if targets set to reduce NCDs are met by 2025.

Causes for cancers include use of Tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Chronic infections from hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and some types of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are leading risk factors for cancer in low- and middle-income countries. Cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV, is a leading cause of cancer death among women in low-income countries.

World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. In 2008, WHO launched its Non-communicable Diseases Action Plan which includes cancer-specific interventions. WHO has been constantly working in the field of awareness about cancer by celebrating themes every year:

  • 2012 theme was ‘Together it is possible’ to encourage the general public, government and organizations to be a part of the event and also spread and share the message.
  • 2013 theme was “Cancer - Did you know?” focusing on the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer.
  • 2014 theme is “Debunk the myths.”

The W.H.O. is also trying to create awareness regarding cancer myths i.e., 1) Cancer is not just a health issue. It has wide reaching social, economic, development and human rights implications. 2) Cancer once considered a death sentence can now be cured. 3) Cancer is attacking every person without reference to age, region, religion, educational level. 4) Cancer is not “my fate”.