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This is how World Cancer Day was celebrated this year

Last Thursday, February 4, the fight against cancer was celebrated around the world under the slogan "I am and I am going to".

Hands holding a purple ribbon cancer symbol

This celebration seeks above all to draw attention to the need to implement government policies to prevent this disease. / Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Así se celebró el Día Mundial contra el Cáncer

World Cancer Day was created by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) in 2008. According to the official website of World Cancer Day and UICC, 9.6 million people die each year due to cancer, surpassing the number of deaths from HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis together . Based on figures published in December last year by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the WHO warned that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, surpassing that of the lung. It is also estimated that the death toll from cancer will rise to 19.5 million cases this year and that by 2040 it will be 28.4 million . In economic terms, the total annual cost is estimated to be around $ 1.16 trillion.

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This celebration seeks, above all, to draw attention to the need to implement government policies to prevent this disease, since " more than a third of cancer cases can be prevented. Another third can be cured if it is detected early and treated properly. And the need of using appropriate resources to implement strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment, so we can save up to 3.7 million lives per year , "according to figures from these organizations.

On the other hand, one of the key issues around the fight against cancer is equity in access to information and health services to judiciously diagnose cancer diseases regardless of age, gender, race, and levels of education or social class. The WHO estimates that 70% of cancer deaths occur in developing countries because of the little material and equipment available to treat these diseases. Likewise , 90% of the countries with low and middle national incomes do not have access to radiotherapy , which is one of the two most important treatments for cancer.

These are other key themes that this celebration seeks to draw attention to:

  1. The importance of information awareness and access to it.
  2. Prevention and risk reduction.
  3. The action and responsibility of governments.
  4. The mental and emotional impact of cancer.
  5. The long-term financial impact if policies for disease prevention are not put in place.
  6. The importance of reducing deficiencies in the training of health workers.
  7. Working together, that is, joining forces from all sectors to reduce cancer cases.

According to the celebration page, "This year's World Cancer Day theme, 'I Am And I'm Going To' is about you and your commitment to act. We believe that through our positive actions, we can all achieve the goal together to reduce the number of premature deaths from cancer and noncommunicable diseases by one third by 2030. "