Advocacy

CANSA Health Campaigns – March to October 2017

CANSA Health Campaigns – March to October 2017

CANSA Awareness Campaigns focus on creating awareness on reducing one’s cancer risk and increasing understanding of various common cancers affecting the South African community.

With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. According to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Global, regional and national policies and programmes that promote healthy lifestyles can substantially reduce cancers that are caused by risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

The following campaigns were run by CANSA during March to October 2017:

  1. Balanced Lifestyle Campaign – March to April 2017
  2. Anti-Tobacco Campaign – May 2017
  3. Occupational Health Awareness Campaign – July 2017
  4. Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign – September 2017
  5. Woman’s Cancer Awareness Campaign – October 2017

Balanced Lifestyle Campaign – March to April 2017

Theme: Eat healthy and be physically active

Being overweight, having a poor diet, alcohol and tobacco use, doing little or no exercise increases the risk of developing cancer. There is sufficient evidence that a healthy lifestyle can improve quality of life for people living with cancer and may reduce the risk of cancer recurring. Nutrition, physical activity, and body composition all play a central part in cancer risk reduction.

High sugar consumption elevates insulin levels, it increases calorie intake without any nutrient value, and indirectly increases cancer risk by promoting obesity.

The objectives of the Campaign:

  • Improve knowledge and awareness on how to lead a balanced lifestyle
  • Encourage communities to discuss lifestyle changes that are required to reduce cancer risk
  • Encourage staff to use healthy lifestyle risk assessments to create awareness on cancer risk
  • Encourage communities to support events that promote physical activity including CANSA events
  • Increase knowledge on how to read a food label
  • Ensure the public have an understanding on the link between cancer and obesity
  • Encourage staff to promote healthier eating options at CANSA events

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Anti-Tobacco Campaign – May 2017

Theme: Tobacco, a Threat to Development

The Objective of the Campaign for 2017 according to WHO: States: “To demonstrate the threats that the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens.” To propose measures that governments and the public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.

Our Aim at CANSA is to encourage the Public to contribute on an individual level to making a sustainable, tobacco-free world. People can commit to never take up tobacco products. Those who do use tobacco can quit the habit, or seek help in doing so, which will in turn protect their health as well as people exposed to second-hand smoke, including children, other family members and friends. Money not spent on tobacco can in turn be used for other essential uses, including the purchase of healthy food, healthcare and education.

CANSA also encourages the use of quit smoking programmes including:

  • CANSA’s eKick Butt programme
  • CSOR Partner: Allen Carr’s quit smoking programme

Tobacco use is now a well-documented threat to global health. It kills more than 7 million people a year and is currently the world’s single biggest cause of preventable death.

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Occupational Health Awareness Campaign – July 2017

Theme: Reduce Cancer Risk at Work

The World Health Organisation (WHO), states the following key facts:

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with 12.7 million new cases and 7.6 million deaths in 2008. Globally, 19% of all cancers are attributable to the environment, including work setting resulting in 1.3 million deaths each year. WHO has classified 107 agents, mixtures, and exposure situations as carcinogenic to humans. External environmental causes of cancer are factors in the environment that increase risk of cancer such as air pollution, UV radiation and indoor radon.

Every tenth lung cancer death is closely related to risks in the workplace. Lung cancer, mesothelioma, and bladder cancer are among the most common types of occupational cancers. The key objective of the campaign was to create awareness among workers on the risks and steps to be followed should a risk be identified at the workplace. CANSA staff and volunteers were encouraged to work with the Occupational Health nurses in creating this awareness at different workplace settings.

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Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign – September 2017

According to IARC (2015), the reported worldwide incidence of childhood cancer is increasing, from 165,000 new cases annually to 215,000 cases for children 14 years and younger and 85,000 new cases for 15-19 year olds. Many more remain uncounted and unreported due to a lack of childhood cancer registries in a large number of countries.

Many childhood cancers are treatable with high treatment success rates between 70% and 80% in well-resourced countries, while approximately 80% of African children with cancer die without access to adequate care. South Africa has an established oncology healthcare service with overburdened infrastructure, low cancer awareness in the primary healthcare service and widespread service delivery challenges resulting in the survival rate standing at 52.1%.

According to the most recent South African Children’s Cancer Study Group (SACCSG) registry statistics, for 2009 to 2013, the five most common childhood cancers in South Africa are leukaemia, followed by lymphoma (tumours that begin in the lymph glands), then brain tumours, nephroblastomas, or Wilms tumours – cancer of the kidneys – and then soft tissue sarcomas, which are tumours that begin in the connective tissue.

The objectives of the Campaign:

  • Aimed at educating the public on the early warning signs of childhood cancer to ensure prompt referral and diagnosis
  • To familiarise staff, volunteers and the greater public on the Saint Siluan Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer
  • To dispel myths associated with a diagnosis of cancer including a reduction in challenges associated with stigma
  • To promote CANSA’s childhood cancer services including psychological support and lodging facilities
  • To encourage support for a child affected by cancer and develop new thinking on the importance individuals can play in assisting a diagnosed child

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Woman’s Cancer Awareness Campaign – October 2017

With October being Woman’s Health Awareness month, CANSA chose to highlight the five leading types of cancer that indiscriminately afflict women in South Africa – breast, cervical, colorectal, uterine, and lung cancer.

While access to good healthcare for all, would be a significant contributing factor to lowering cancer deaths and improving outcomes, CANSA firmly believes in sharing awareness and knowledge and how this strategy can go a long way in lowering cancer risk and improving the overall disease landscape in the country.

Both breast and cervical cancer have been identified as a national priority with increasing incidences occurring. Approximately 19.4 million women aged 15 years and older live at-risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer – the cancer affecting women in South Africa the most. In 2013, deaths from breast cancer and cancers of the female genital tract, accounted for 0.7% and 1% of all deaths in South African respectively.

By paying greater attention to the ‘Big Five’, women will be better prepared to reduce their personal cancer risk and avoid the physical and emotional impact that can accompany a cancer diagnosis.

The objectives of the campaign:

  • To provide an overview of the top 5 cancers affecting woman: Breast, Cervical, Colorectal, Uterine and Lung cancers
  • To improve early detection rates by promoting community awareness, and educating communities OR health care workers on female cancers and the management thereof
  • To facilitate referral pathways for patients with woman’s healthcare concerns through active engagement with relevant stakeholders per community setting
  • To have increased knowledge on National Department of Health Cancer Control screening guidelines on Breast and Cervical policies
  • To create female cancer awareness through the use of stakeholder partnerships and social media platforms
  • To engage with fund development staff to ensure promotion of “Shades of Pink’ events and merchandise
  • To increase publicity of CANSA brand through the use of the Mobile Units

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