World Cancer Day 4 Feb 2017 – Time to Inspire Action & Take Action!
16 January 2017: This year’s World Cancer Day, taking place on Saturday, 4 February, is the second to fall under the three-year World Cancer Day ‘We Can, I Can’ campaign. The theme highlights how everyone, together or individually, can help reduce the global burden of cancer. Inspire Action, Take Action, is the message CANSA is emphasising in 2017.
“We sometimes hold the mistaken belief that cancer is a dread disease that other people experience,” says CANSA Chief Executive Officer Elize Joubert. “However, the reality is that we’re all affected by cancer in some way. If you think about it, you will know someone who is a cancer survivor. The good news is that we all also have the power to take action to reduce the impact of the disease on individuals, families and communities.”
The global cancer epidemic is vast and is set to rise. About 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year. In South Africa, one in four is affected by cancer through diagnosis of family, friends or self.
“World Cancer Day gives us a chance to reflect on what we can do individually and collectively to fight this disease which affects people of all ages, races and gender. It doesn’t discriminate,” says Joubert. “CANSA’s theme this year is ‘Inspire Action, Take Action’.
‘Support Through Sport’ – Get Active
CANSA recognises the unifying power of sport to transform lives and societies and seeks the support of the sport community to help fight cancer by raising awareness among athletes, sport fans, officials, coaches, and personalities. Being active and choosing a healthy lifestyle are key messages promoted by World Cancer Day.
Joubert adds, “Aside from lowering the cancer risk, a growing body of evidence shows that physical activity significantly helps cancer patients, not only to manage the life-altering side-effects of treatment such as fatigue, depression and heart damage, but also in reducing the risk of the disease worsening or recurring. Physical activity also helps to maintain a healthy weight that will assist in lowering the risk for various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.”
Please support CANSA’s sports events as part of World Cancer Day, 4 February 2017, such as the Gijima for CANSA in Durban and Lace up for Cancer in Cape Town, and Cycling Carletonville to Cape Town! Find more events and workshops here…
Show your support on social media
- Simply take your ball, racket, frisbee, helmet, paddle, or hand and write the World Cancer Day hashtag on it: #WeCanICan
- Take a photo of you, your team or your club with the #WeCanICan hashtag
- Show your support by sharing your photo as far and wide as you can across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, including #WeCanICan and #WorldCancerDay in your post.
Steps To Take
“We are driving progress in cancer control by calling on government, corporates, organisations and communities to push for actions that we know will improve survival rates and cancer survivors’ quality of life and decrease the burden of cancer,” she says.
These actions include awareness campaigns that equip people with knowledge of the links between lifestyle choices and cancer, encouraging them to follow healthier options.
Corporates are also encouraged to implement measures that will motivate and sustain healthy habits among employees. It’s also imperative that they create a safe and supportive environment for cancer survivors while they undergo their treatment and when they return to the workplace.
“Schools throughout South Africa need to champion healthy behaviours for learners, educators and parents. This will not only assist in the battle against cancer, it will also help to prevent and manage other dread diseases,” says Joubert.
Local government and communities are encouraged to prioritise cancer risk-reduction, as well as treatment and care at a local level. Communities can support a healthy environment that encourages good nutrition and physical activity.
“We also advocate improved access to cancer treatment and services, from diagnosis to completion of treatment, rehabilitation and beyond,” says Joubert.
It’s important to note that people living with cancer and their caregivers can ask for support. Survivors can take control of their cancer journey by actively taking part in their own care and having their choices respected and their needs met. Key to all of this is that people should know that early detection and seeking timely care saves lives.
“Now that you know what to do, go out there and inspire action, take action,” concludes Joubert.
Where To Get More Information
What Individuals Can Do
• Choose a healthier lifestyle. This includes, for example, drinking no alcohol, giving up smoking, eating healthy food and getting enough exercise.
• Keep an eye on your health – early detection means faster access to treatment and increases your chances of beating cancer. CANSA recommends regular medical check-ups and cancer screening.
• CANSA offers various screening options to determine your health and wellbeing such as the Healthy Lifestyle Risk Assessment which can help identify health risks that you need to address. Available also at any of the CANSA Care Centres across the country.
• If you’re a cancer survivor, you can take control by actively taking part in your care and having your choices respected and needs met.
What Schools Can Do
• Schools can be champions of healthy behaviours for learners, educators and parents such as ensuring adequate sunscreen protection for young ones during school breaks. Support and information material is available from CANSA.
• Those schools that provide meals and or run tuck shops can move to healthier options on their menus.
What Companies Can Do
• Run educational campaigns and publish information on employee channels. Much of the information required is available from CANSA.
• Ensure a welcoming and safe environment for cancer survivors and employees affected by cancer.
• Restaurants and fast food outlets can assist by offering healthier menu choices.
What Local Government And Communities Can Do
• Support a healthy environment in which good nutrition and physical activity is encouraged.
• Create an advocacy push to encourage your government to prioritise cancer on the health and development agenda.
• Support community clinics with information, educational material and other items that they may be able to use in order to assist patients affected by cancer.