Author: Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions
Every year on February 4, countries and citizens throughout the world unite to fight against cancer. It is one day that is focused on raising awareness and encouraging individuals and governments to take action through policies, legislation, investment and innovation.
Origins of World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day was created by the Paris Charter in 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium. The Charter aimed to promote research for cures and prevention, advocate for patient services, raise awareness, and mobilize the global community to make progress against cancer. It is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control.
Global Impact of Cancer
An estimated 9.6 million people die from cancer every year, which is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. In addition to the human toll, the economic impact is staggering. Healthcare costs, lost productivity, lost household income and reduced quality of life add up to 1.16 trillion USD. *
Cancer is a worldwide problem, but its impact is particularly devastating in the least developed countries, where approximately two-thirds of the deaths occur. One reason is that many of those countries do not have access to radiotherapy. Even in higher-income countries, a huge disparity exists among poorer, immigrant and rural communities.
How You Can Help
World Cancer Day hopes to tackle these issues by staging conferences, rallies, fundraisers and awareness campaigns in dozens of countries. Starting in 2019, the theme is “I Am and I Will.” It represents a call to action for people to make a personal commitment to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, for your family, and for the world.
Individuals can participate in many ways. One of the easiest is to create your own social media post that reflects your own personal message and commitment. You can also spread the word by writing an op-ed, recording a video message, or reaching out to a local journalist.
Consider attending a local event. Many communities are hosting activities connected to this campaign. They can also show their support by lighting up monuments and landmarks in orange and blue, which are the official colors of World Cancer Day.
What Happens When We Act?
Approximately one-third of cancer cases can be prevented, and another third can be cured with early detection and proper treatment. Along with robust research and improved palliative care, premature cancer deaths could conceivably fall by up to 25% by 2025. Also, if we invested 11.4 billion USD in prevention strategies, we could save almost 9 times that amount in avoided treatment costs.*
For more details on how you can get involved, and to download an action toolkit for ideas and examples on how to mark World Cancer Day, visit https://www.worldcancerday.org/.
Personalized Care for You and Your Family
Through Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions’ (HPS) Patient Education & Resources Program, we work with patients and caregivers to address many special needs related to cancer care. We provide professional guidance and educational resource materials including information about medication adherence, managing side effects or treatment, nutritional care, caregiver support, wellness and prevention, returning to work and survivorship. We also help patients find local support groups and offer referrals to non-profit organizations. At HPS, we’re always here to help.
*Statistics and data taken from the World Cancer Day website.