Globally, cancer is a leading cause of death and the statistics are sobering. Worldwide cases of cancer are predicted to reach 21.7 million by 2030.
Today on World Cancer Day – and throughout Cancer Prevention Month – one big theme is about getting individuals to play a more active role in reducing their cancer risk. Being active is an important way to do that, and that’s the theme for World Cancer Day.
You surely know that exercise is good for you, but what most Americans don’t know is that being active actually decreases your cancer risk.
Our 8th Cancer Awareness Survey, released this week, showed that only 39 percent of Americans know that inactivity relates to cancer risk. And it does.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced a “moonshot” program to fight cancer. In charge of that program, Vice President Biden has met with oncologists, scientists, and other leaders in the cancer field, and stated that, “We’re trying to get to a quantum leap on the path to a cure”
Much of the focus has been on Big Data, and on sharing science across institutions, in the effort to quickly move results from the lab to the public. In a nation where approximately four in ten people can expect to be diagnosed with invasive cancer in their lifetimes, we need big efforts to fight this disease.
Today, World Cancer Day, is a time to raise awareness of prevention: Cancer prevention needs to be a part of the renewed push against cancer.
Focusing only on the cure is like trying to douse a forest fire on one front while someone is lighting matches on another. The good news is that we already have the knowledge and tools here on earth to prevent a large proportion of cancers from developing, without reaching for the moon.
Avoidance of known carcinogens (including tobacco, excess radiation, sun and tanning), and use of vaccines for human papilloma and hepatitis B viruses, can prevent a wide range of cancers such as lung, skin, liver, cervix, mouth and throat. Screening and removal of premalignant lesions can prevent several cancers including those of the skin, colon, and cervix. Medications have been shown in clinical trials to prevent breast or prostate cancers in persons at high risk for those cancers. Read more… “Now, on World Cancer Day, We Already Have the Knowledge, Tools to Prevent So Many Cancers”
Here at AICR, we’re only too aware that behind the statistics – the millions of cancers occurring each year around the globe – there are human lives. Each of those lives tells a unique story.
They’re stories of brave individuals and concerned families. Stories of tireless caregivers and compassionate doctors. Stories of researchers working to make the kind of discoveries that will produce breakthroughs in cancer prevention, treatment and survival. And stories of policy makers and health educators, striving to combat this disease in ways that stand to benefit the world at large.
Most of us have our own stories that help shape the lens through which we view cancer. My aunt never once used the actual word when she had a recurrence of breast cancer that spread to her bones after an 8 year period of being all clear. She was from a generation that didn’t make a lot of fuss. Read more… “Some Personal Thoughts on World Cancer Day”
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