World Cancer Day on February the 4th is a cause I wholeheartedly support. Three years ago, I attended five funerals and all but one was cancer-related. Several kids were left without Mums. One wasn’t even a teenager yet. A very close friend lost her sister and best mate. Another friend who is more like family also lost his sister. She was his only living relative leaving him the sole survivor at the tender age of 40. The remainder were stripped of precious loved ones which had a significant effect on all of them.
Additionally my Aunt was a victim of ovarian cancer years before. Her symptoms were minimal, much like everyone else. In each case, cancer came like a thief in the night steeling the people we loved away from us.
Then my mum was eventually diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It went misdiagnosed until the growth was so large it almost cut off her airways. Luckily, her surgeon was amazing and cut it out but the radiation treatment to deter it from returning was severe. It permanently disabled her ability to speak and she neither ate nor drank for almost two years.
So as you can imagine, cancer has made quite an impact on my life and on many people around me. Not even the kids have been left unscathed. When my friend’s dog was diagnosed with cancer we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Not even the animals were safe from its reach!
One thing that can be said for cancer is that it doesn’t discriminate. Young, old, healthy, sick, human, canine – cancer isn’t fussy. In fact, it’s gaining ground, particularly in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. These regions claim greater than 60 per cent of the new cases for the entire globe each year. This indicates a rapidly growing disparity between people from different nations having access to prevention, treatment and palliative care.
This is especially worrisome because the World Health Organization have predicted a 70 per cent rise in new cancer cases over the next two decades. That will make the current rate of 14 million new cases each year rise to an astronomical 22 million and fatality rates are well over half. Something drastic needs to be done.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) developed World Cancer Day to make that happen. They are a leading non government organization, based in Geneva, with links to over 800 organizations across 150 countries. They want to save millions of preventable deaths through awareness and education by pressuring individuals like us to speak up, so world governments and organizations step up!
The aim of World Cancer Day is primarily to raise awareness and capture the world’s media attention. They recognize the power of social media and the power of the people. That includes ALL of us. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account they need you!
They want to ensure essential plans, policies and directives which have been recommended to world government and non-government organizations will actually happen. We all need it to happen. I don’t want to loose one more person in my life to Cancer. If you don’t either, join thousands of us around the world who are prepared to make some noise. It will only take you a minute of you time to get involved. Click on the images in this post for a direct link to the World Cancer Day official website to find out more.
Images via worldcancerday.org