Despite recent progress in the prevention and treatment of cancer it is still the leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. These figures are the reason that so many fear and are affected by cancer.
Today is World Cancer Day and the International Union Against Cancer use it to raise awareness, collect pledges, and encourage people across the world to commit to positive lifestyle change to reduce their cancer risk.
One in three cancer deaths can be prevented through changing lifestyle habits, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, and backed by the World Health Organisation, World Cancer Day is doing what it can to help spread this awareness.
About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22% of global cancer deaths and 71% of global lung cancer deaths, so there are things we can do to hugely reduce our risks.
A dedicated World Cancer Day 2012 application on Facebook has been launched to allow users to make their personal pledge to the online community by donating their Facebook status. You can access the app here. A companion campaign on Twitter will support #WorldCancerDay as a trending topic.
Cary Adams, UICC Chief Executive Officer said, “On World Cancer Day we echo the World Health Organization’s belief that we can reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, by 25 per cent by 2025; but this is only possible if we work together to realise achievable and impactful interventions. Cancer knows no boundaries, so we all must take responsibility for beating this devastating disease. Together it is possible.”
World Cancer Day is the singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. Urgent action against cancer is vital because the human suffering and economic impact of the disease is huge and only set to rise. In fact, cancer cases are projected to almost double to 21.4 million by 2030, with nearly two thirds of all diagnoses occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
So get on Facebook and use the app to help spread awareness and save lives.