Tuesday, February 4, 2014
WHY WORLD CANCER DAY IS IMPORTANT!
Put simply, because the global cancer epidemic is huge and is set to rise. 1.5 million lives which would be lost to cancer, could be saved per year if decisive measures are taken to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘25 by 25’ target; to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025. Currently, 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).
So unless urgent action is taken to raise awareness about the disease and to develop practical strategies to address cancer, by 2025, this is projected to increase to an alarming 6 million premature cancer deaths per year. The estimate of 1.5 million lives lost per year to cancer that could be prevented must serve to galvanise our efforts in implementing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘25 by 25’ target.
There is now a need for a global commitment to help drive advancements in policy and encourage implementation of comprehensive National Cancer Control Plans. If we are to succeed in this, we have a collective responsibility to support low- and middle-income countries who are tackling a cancer epidemic with insufficient resources. World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and in the world’s media.