"Every year, 3.5 million people in the EU are diagnosed with cancer, and 1.3 million die from it. Over 40% of cancer cases are preventable. Without reversing current trends, it could become the leading cause of death in the EU. "
4th of February has been for many years already the international #WorldCancerDay. We do raise awareness about different topics in our social media channels, and today it shouldn't be less. We all know someone, who has been affected or it is affected by cancer. The person may be close, or may have been an acquaintance. But in any case, we could feel (and maybe even see) their struggle and willingness to live.
Who doesn't question the "why" and "how"? It could have been the lifestyle, it could have been the genetics... but no matter the "why" and the "how", it happens. And when it happens, we are there to support those affected by this disease. In the same way that institutions are there to research and find quicker ways to prevent cancer; improve the treatments and ensure a higher life quality to those affected and the survivors.
We are having a fight against covid19 - however, cancer is even a bigger fight. According to the European Union, in 2020 we lost 1.3 million Europeans to this disease and sadly, the number of cases is on the rise.
So what can WE do? I know it sounds like "I can not really do anything cause I am not a doctor and neither a scientist". However, we CAN take different actions that I would like to share with you in the next lines:
Don't avoid doctors: probably one of the most important points. If you have cancer history within your family, do try to have yearly checks. In the same way, women should also have every 6 months or at least once per year a review with the gynecologist.
Educate yourself: this may even be one of the most important points. There are so many type of cancer, and it is very difficult to find the root cause. Nevertheless, there are scientifically proven papers recommending certain lifestyle changes to minimize the risk of developing cancer. For instance, WorldCancerDay.org has launched a 21 Days to Impact Challenge. They offer 5 different challenges that you can sign up to, aiming to get closer to fulfilling the "I Am and I will" commitment.
Create awareness: Spread your word or from others through your social media, take part in events (onsite or online), and show support to those affected by the disease and survivors.
Donate: Donate to organizations that are existing to fight the cancer and provide services to the survivors. Some of them could be the WorldCancerDay.org
Buy merchandise: similar to a donation, but this time you are even having an item (it could be a T-Shirt, a mug, a candle) that helps you spreading the awareness of cancer. For instance PinkRibbon.org
Despite current global pandemic situation, let's not forget that cancer exists and every day, millions of people are going through this deadly disease and fighting to survive.
In the same way, let's also not forget the oncologists, who are there in the front line, fully committed to do their best to help those diagnosed with cancer.