Today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. Led by The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the day aims to raise awareness and drive collective action in an effort to combat the disease and save lives.
This is the second year of the three-year “close the care gap” campaign centred on reducing the inequities that exist in accessing quality cancer care services around the world.
Half of the world population still do not have access to even basic health care. There is a shared responsibility to tackle this challenge – one that urgently requires a scale up of efforts on universal health coverage, so that everyone can have access to the cancer care they need.
Changes can be made, not only through medical advances, but even through the smallest of actions that can have a significant impact like creating new positive healthy habits, or improving cancer awareness.
Over a third of all cancers can be prevented by reducing one’s exposure to risk factors including physical inactivity, environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens, obesity etc. Whereas a number of cancers can be detected early to prevent cancer spread and improve the chances of successful treatment outcomes; early detection can be made possible through regular screening tests.
Unfortunately, the cost and availability of timely cancer treatment is not always attainable to everyone worldwide, which is why it is so important that government action is taken to improve everyone’s chances to access cancer saving treatment.
In the lead up to World Cancer Day, the European Commission launched the European Cancer Imaging Initiative, with the goal of using artificial intelligence and digital technologies to better support healthcare providers, institutions and innovators in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Over the years, World Cancer Day has become one of the most celebrated health awareness days, with hundreds of activities and events taking place worldwide. Although the battle is not over, this day urges us to understand our actions to further accelerate the progress we have made, and to reduce the global impact of cancer.
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