World Cancer Day 2018
The Health Promotion Department are supporting the GHA Cancer services Team and several cancer charities to raise awareness on World Cancer Day.
There are numerous resources on the World Cancer Day website that echo the theme ‘I can, We can’ fight and prevent Cancer.
Cancer risk factors affect millions globally and a number of these factors, such as smoking, poor diet and overly sedentary lifestyles, can be prevented. Educating individuals and communities about the links between lifestyle and cancer risk is crucial to effective cancer prevention.
Individual actions include:
- Avoiding smoking and second hand smoke. Smoking remains the biggest cancer risk factor, tobacco use accounting for five million deaths every year.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation. Consumption of alcohol has been linked to an increase in various cancers including mouth, larynx, breast, liver and pancreatic cancer.
- Eating healthily,
- Exercising often,
- And maintaining a healthy body weight. Overweight and obesity are strongly linked with an increased risk of bowel, breast, uterine, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal, kidney, and gallbladder cancers; particularly in later life.
- Enjoying the sun safely. Skin cancer is still detected in Gibraltar and sun safety remains important particularly over the summer months.
- Practicing safe sex and ensuring you take advantage of relevant screening programmes (e.g. cervical smear or STI screening).
- Understanding that early detection saves lives. Cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage, before it has grown too large or spread, is more likely to be treated successfully.
- Asking for support when you need it. Maintaining a strong social and emotional network is important for people living with cancer and their carer(s).
Actions of the community include:
- Creating healthy schools. Cultivating a community that promotes healthy nutritious meals/ drink choices in school, and supports physical activity both inside and outside the school curriculum.
- Creating healthy workplaces. With global labour forces increasing, and a substantial amount of individual time being spent in the workplace, they provide the perfect forum for health promotion; particularly smoke-cessation initiatives, active transport to/ from work and access to healthy food options.
- Challenging perceptions. People living with cancer may feel stigma or discrimination prevents them from speaking openly about their feelings or seeking extra support; improving public knowledge and embracing educational campaigns can help dispel misconceptions and facilitate access to accurate information.
- Joining forces to make a difference. Multi-sectoral partnerships help mobilise communities to advocate for change and make governments accountable.
- Shaping policy change. Advocating for change at local, global and national levels can have a huge impact on cancer risk; tobacco taxation, regulations on tobacco advertisement, regulations on unhealthy food advertisement, and improvements to laws governing environmental exposures are just a few examples of how regulatory measures may reduce cancer risk.
- Preventing cancer- by following all the recommendations above!
For more information see: http://www.worldcancerday.org