The National Cancer Institute reports 95% of the cancer diagnoses are dependent on choices we make every day, such as food selection, smoking decisions, sun exposure and exercise habits. Making poor choices can negatively impact our ability to age gracefully and to enjoy a full, productive life. Although Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma doubtful had control over the circumstances leading to their disease, raising awareness about all causes of cancer on Feb 4, World Cancer Day, may help prevent others from having to deal with the devastation that comes with a cancer diagnosis.
Nearly 8.2 million people across the globe die from cancer each year. Feb 4 is one day that is set aside every year to “spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media,” according to WorldCancerDay.org. With the goal to unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer, the organization hopes that by raising awareness and educating the public about the disease, countless lives will be saved.
“World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what everyone can do to reduce the impact of this devastating disease, now, and for the future. We wish it to be a springboard for positive change. Take action for yourself, your organisation or your community/country, as everyone can make a difference and inspire others. ‘We can. I can.’ beat cancer,” noted Professor Tezer Kutluk, President, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
For the mesothelioma community, this is another chance to shine a light on the pain and suffering over 3,000 Americans have to deal with each day as they are told they have mesothelioma. The rare, incurable disease, brought on by past asbestos exposure, can take decades for the cancer to develop, primarily impacting military veterans and trade workers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 125 million people are annually exposed to asbestos in the workplace. The only sure way to stop the suffering and deaths caused by mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease is by preventing exposure, and WHO has been calling for a ban of asbestos use throughout the world. Once widely used in many applications, asbestos is now classified as a human carcinogen. Although the U.S. government regulates the use of asbestos today, it is still not banned in the U.S., as many mistakenly believe.
One of the primary objectives of World Cancer Day is to reach as much of the world’s population as possible during the day. The organization believes that any action anyone takes to educate others has an impact. Through the campaign theme, “We can. I can.”, everyone is encouraged to get involved in the fight against cancer.
“Join us on World Cancer Day to take action on cancer by making health and well-being commitments, participating in the official ‘Talking Hands’ social media activity and getting involved in hundreds of other awareness raising initiatives that are happening worldwide,” said Kutluk.