February 4th is observed as World Cancer Day, every year. The day is dedicated to everyone across the globe fighting cancer, the statistics of which is absolutely alarming. With over 9.5 million people are known to have cancer at a severe stage in the year 2018, cancer is a global health burden we all have to fight against collectively.
World Cancer Day is observed to raise awareness about the disease, educate the people about ways to make the fight against cancer easier. The day also sees people spreading awareness about how can one fight cancer through early screening and detection, healthy diet, physical activities, smoking and other aspects of cancer via festivals, seminars, walks and various campaigns. It is more like a collective effort towards making more and more people aware of the disease that could happen to anyone. Cancer is scanned early has a better chance of treatment; therefore it is essential for people to know of the disease and its early symptoms.
Cancer is not just a health issue, it is increasingly becoming a social issue that requires attention and action at all levels. Cancer is a leading cause of death in both, more and less economically developed countries. The burden is expected to grow worldwide due to the growth and aging of the population, particularly in less developed countries, in which about 82% of the world’s population resides. There are over 100 cancer types that exist nowadays and each of them requires unique diagnosis and treatment.
According to Latest global cancer data by WHO, one in 5 men and one in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 8 men and one in 11 women die from the disease. The burden of cancer is only increasing and according to WHO the factors behind, are population growth, ageing, late detection and screening etc. Moreover, lung and female breast cancers are the leading types of cancer worldwide. Colorectal cancer (1.8 million cases, 10.2% of the total) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, prostate cancer is the fourth (1.3 million cases, 7.1%), and stomach cancer is the fifth (1.0 million cases, 5.7 %.) World Cancer Day 2019: More Positive High-Risk HPV Cases among 31–45 Ages, Cervical Cancer Screening Survey Reveals.
The theme for World Cancer Day 2019 is "I am and I will" it is about your cancer story and your commitment towards fighting the disease off, no matter how difficult the situation is. The theme aims to infuse encouragement and confidence among all the ones who are fighting the disease every day.
We, at World Assembly of Youth, believe that the World Cancer Day is an opportunity to reflect on the multi-stakeholders and multidisciplinary nature of cancer control. We will only be successful in the fight against cancer through strong collaboration between wide ranges of stakeholders: policymakers, researchers, civil society, medical professionals and academia and, last but not least, patients. We urge youth to start caring about their health by reflecting it in their lifestyle as to prevent is always better than to cure. We all, as a collective or as individuals, can do our part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
World Cancer Day is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.