Saturday, February 4, 2012

World Cancer Day


By Diane Forrest, RN

According the National Cancer Institute there are over 100 different types of cancer, and more are being diagnosed every year.  For a complete list of the different types, click on this site: http://www.cancer.gov/.   Each year globally, 12.7 million people learn they have cancer, and 7.6 million people die from the disease. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease; it kills more than half a million Americans every year.  Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or has lost someone because of cancer.

Research is being done all around the world to find a cure, however today is a day for the world to come together and spread the word about cancer, ways to prevent it, and how to be aware of early signs to initiate treatment before all hope is lost.  Today is World Cancer Day.  A person's cancer risk can be reduced by avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, avoiding excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active.

Vaccines also help reduce cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers, and the hepatitis B vaccine can help reduce liver cancer risk.   Research shows that screening for cervical and colorectal (colon) cancers as recommended helps prevent these diseases by finding precancerous lesions so they can be treated before they become cancerous. Screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancers also helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable stage.

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You can also reduce your children's risk of getting many types of cancer later in life. Start by helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and plenty of exercise to keep a healthy weight.

Ways to help promote World Cancer day include:
People, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations work together on World Cancer Day to help the general public learn more about the different types of cancer, how to watch for it, treatments and preventative measures.
Various activities and events include: Television; radio; online and newspaper advertisements and articles that focus on the fight against cancer.

Nationwide campaigns targeted at parents to help them minimize the risk of cancer within their families.

Breakfasts, luncheons or dinners aimed at raising funds for cancer research or projects that help to fight cancer. Many of these events feature keynote speakers or video presentations.

Public information booths featuring information kits, fact sheets, booklets, posters and other items that promote the cancer awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and treatment.
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For more information visit this site:  http://www.cdc.gov/Features/WorldCancerDay/

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