World Cancer Day is a global movement that is held every year on the 4th of February. At Northside Health, we mark World Cancer Day to place cancer at the forefront of the conversation.
World Cancer Day 2021
This year, the campaign theme for World Cancer Day is “I am and I will”. The theme acknowledges that everyone has a role to play when addressing cancer.
It aims to create awareness and encourage individuals on cancer prevention, it’s early diagnosis and cancer treatment. This global initiative was first marked in 2008 and led by the Union for International Cancer Control.
Cancer Overview of Australia
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and in Australia too. It accounts for about three in ten deaths across Australia and is estimated that more than half of the population will develop at least one type of skin cancer in their lifetime.
In fact, last year, doctors diagnosed about 400 new cancer cases each day in Australia. Although cancer is deadly, many of us are still unaware of its causes, their signs and symptoms and fails to recognise the risk factors.
Are you aware that lifestyle choices have a huge impact on your risk of cancer?
If so, you are correct. Our usual health habits like eating as well as lifestyle choices like smoking or drinking have a huge impact on our risk of cancer.
However, cancer still remains preventable. In fact, between 30% to 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, provided we make the right lifestyle choices.
Experts believe that many cancer cases can be prevented through a combination of healthy choices and regular cancer screening tests.
For example, the use of tobacco or excessive alcohol consumption is the two greatest avoidable risks for cancer death worldwide. While it may sound very difficult to quit doing them, it is possible with the right strategy and seeking help from experts.
Below is a list of additional ways that can help reduce your chances of developing cancer
- Exercise regularly. Regular physical activities such as running or playing a sport are good for overall health. It is recommended to get 150 minutes of exercise by adults every week
- Maintain a healthy weight. Many studies have found a link between overweight and obesity to increased risk for certain types of cancers such as the liver and endocrine cancer
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Limit the consumption of processed food and added sugar
- Protect your skin against exposure to ultraviolet radiation
- Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B
- Regularly visit your doctors and as busy as you may be, take the time to discuss your risk factors with your doctors
- There are warning signs and symptoms of many types of cancer. You should never overlook them and seek immediate medical help when you experience them
How can you participate in World Cancer Day?
1. Get Social and Spread the Word
Join the movement and post a personal message on your favourite social media platform with the hashtags #WorldCancerDay and #IAmAndIWill.
If you use Twitter, you can also join the conversation at Cancer Australia’s Twitter Page.
2. Commit to your wellbeing
Another way to be at the forefront of cancer awareness is by identifying your risk factors and lifestyle behaviours that may lead to cancer.
So, this World Cancer Day, reflect on how cancer can impact you or your loved ones and commit to your wellbeing by making an effort to get healthy and reduce your risk factors.
3. Reach out for help
Whether it is for you or any of your family members, early detection is the best protection against cancer. To find cancer early, while it’s still small and not spreading, all individuals should undergo regular cancer screening tests.
Screening tests are very effective in cancer prevention as it will help your doctor to identify any cancers before symptoms are displayed.