Saturday is World Cancer Day under the slogan “We can. I can”

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The global cancer community will commemorate World Cancer Day on February 4, with the slogan ”We can. I can”.

World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and draw attention to the fact that everyone – individually and collectively – can help to prevent and control cancer.

In the Americas, cancer is the second leading cause of death, where there are an estimated 2.8 million people are newly diagnosed each year and 1.3 million people are dying from the disease each year, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Approximately 52% of new cancer cases and 35% of cancer deaths are in people 65 years of age and younger, in the prime of their lives.  If no further action is taken, the cancer situation is projected to increase to over four million new cancer cases and 1.9 million cancer deaths by the year 2025.

Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), as part of its annual calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness about health matters.  CPS would like to draw the community’s attention to World Cancer Day.

Cancer can be prevented and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment and palliative care.

The most common modifiable risk factors for cancer, which are shared with many other non-communicable diseases, are: Tobacco use; Low fruit and vegetable intake; Harmful use of alcohol; Lack of physical activity; Chronic infections from human papilloma virus (HPV) -for cervical cancer, hepatitis B and C – for liver cancer, and H.pylori – for stomach cancer.

It is estimated that 30–40 percent of cancers can be prevented by reducing these risk factors. Public health policies can be put in place to support individual healthy lifestyle choices, and that make them the easy choice.

Many other cancer types, notably cervical, breast and colorectal cancer can be detected early and treated effectively through organized screening and early detection programs, and access to timely cancer treatment.

The World Cancer Day 2017 campaign calls for joint efforts between governments, nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations to promote action and investments in areas including tobacco control, promotion of healthy lifestyles, cancer screening and early detection, and improved cancer treatment services, as well as palliative care when cure is not possible.

Reach out to local civic groups to learn more about detecting and preventing cancer, as well as to volunteer with their goals and objectives.