Yep, according to the International Union Against Cancer, cancer is is still not a focus of global health agendas and urgent action is needed to raise awareness about cancer and develop practical strategies to address the disease or millions of people will continue to die. Yes, millions! The World Health Organization confirms that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and makes up about 13% of all around deaths. So why a day devoted to it?
The World Cancer Day Organization states that the day gives us a “chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease.” In fact, this year World Cancer Day will focus on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: “Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline ‘Cancer – Did you know?’”
So what should one do on World Cancer Day? Since this year is all about dispelling myths, communication is key. Here are some suggestions from the World Cancer Day Organization:
- Get the word out using Twitter / Facebook pages (global hashtags and key messages to share via social platforms are provided in the advocacy toolkit).
- Use the “Cancer Myths vs Facts” Facebook application. This application will be launched for World Cancer Day 2013 – be sure to use it and share it widely to spread the truth about cancer on this day.
- Use the World Cancer Day poster which has been designed specifically for the 2013 campaign. You can use it digitally or as a printed document to promote the day and the theme.
- Place the World Cancer Day logo on your website, link to www.worldcancerday.org, and upload an article about the day onto your site.
- Share the Declaration with the public, and encourage them to sign-up on World Cancer Day.
- Add to the World Cancer Day online map of events and activities.
- Translate: Help bring the messages and tools of the World Cancer Day campaign to a wider audience. It would be useful to have additional translations for the posters and fact sheets. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping.
- Adapt the World Cancer Day poster, by adding your organization’s logo before you disseminate it. Design files are available upon request.
- Help disseminate or display the four World Cancer Day Fact sheets and the World Cancer Day Evidence sheets, and Cancer infographics.
- Help by organizing fund-raising activities and/or sub-level campaigns using World Cancer Day messaging.
- Call on government to ensure that cancer interventions, across the entire continuum of care from prevention to early detection, treatment and palliation, are adequately addressed in the Global Action Plan. For more information and supporting documents, the UICC Advocacy toolkit may come in handy.