Each year, World Cancer Day (WCD) falls on February 4th. Since 2016, the theme of this global campaign has been “We Can, I Can.” The purpose is to get as many people as possible, all around the world, talking and thinking about cancer, with a view to educating the public on early detection and prevention, and influencing government and industry regarding matters of investment and research. World Cancer Day is an initiative which engages individuals, governments, corporations, research institutions, schools and universities on a global scale. Here we’ll give an overview of some of these resources, the scope of their impact and the involvement of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) as it applies to WCD.
Get the Word Out
Of the nearly nine million people globally who die from cancer each year, over four million of those pass before the age of 69. It’s believed that multitudes of these deaths, especially, could be prevented, or lifespans significantly prolonged, but for the lack of early detection through routine and proper screenings. In view of these statistics, World Cancer Day was launched by the Swiss-based Union for International Cancer Control, its partners, networks and members, of which NFCR is proud to be one. Its theme of “We Can, I Can,” which began in 2016 and culminates in 2018, encompasses a paradigm—a vision/belief/motivating fundamental—that the global burden of cancer can be tremendously lightened, and groups and individuals can take action to bring about such a reality.
We Can, I Can
As the theme suggests, World Cancer Day and its components are suitable to the many and the one. The framework, We Can, includes topics and messages such as prevention, creating healthy working, schooling and living environments within communities, playing a part in helping those affected to successfully return to work through corporate or business programs, and supporting and creating changes in policy that can support the cancer community and improve access to care.
Similarly, the framework, I Can, suggests of individuals ways to make their voices heard, ask for support, receive guidance on making healthy life choices and learn about the importance of early detection. For those within the cancer community, I Can entails provision of support, help to return to work, and access to engaged communities, care-providers and loved ones.
Investment in controlling cancer figures prominently among the goals of World Cancer Day. And as a charity whose primary function is the provision of funding to impactful oncology research—“Research for a Cure”—NFCR is especially attuned to this element of today’s “We Can, I Can” call-to-action.
Regardless of the type, cancer research is significantly underfunded vis-à-vis the work it’s being asked to do, the drug therapies it’s being asked to develop and the tremendous patient population with which it’s being asked to keep pace. World Cancer Day places particular importance on making the case for investing in cancer research and control. This means making an impact not only in the labs, but in the government and halls of justice as well.
Take time today to get involved in World Cancer Day. Every individual matters. Each dollar makes a difference. No effort is too small, particularly with so many around the world today striving together to fight cancer.
Today especially: We Can, I Can!
Here are a few suggestions:
- Committing to a lifestyle decision known to mitigate against cancer risk
- Offering love and hope to a cancer survivor
- Scheduling a cancer screening
- Engaging an elected government official, encouraging support to cancer research funding
- Contributing to NFCR or another reputable cancer-fighting organization associated with World Cancer Day