Cancer is one of the major threats to human health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is estimated that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 if there is no intervention in their illness.
The main types of cancer suffered worldwide are:
• Lung (1,3 million deaths a year),
• Stomach (almost 1 million deaths a year),
• Liver (662 000 deaths ayear),
Colon (655 000 deaths a year) and
• Breast (502 000 deaths/year).
World Cancer Day is marked on 4th February every year. It is a day when WHO as well as businesses, governments and non-profit organisations work together to educate people worldwide about the different types of cancer, how to recognise it, what treatments and preventative measures are available.
This is the time to demonstrate the resilience and strength of cancer survivors who have faced great trauma in their battle to stay alive and overcome the disease. World Cancer Day was originally launched at the First World Summit against Cancer in Paris on 4th February 2000. It is marked the world over, although South Africa also has a month dedicated to cancer awareness.
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is a community-driven and volunteer-based organisation that has been fighting cancer for the past 77 years. CANSA has become one of the leading NGOs in the country with 45 offices and more than 12 000 volunteers and 260 staff members.
CANSA, BHF and UCKG started a pilot project in Alexandra to empower men and women to:
• be more informed about cancer
• detect cancer early
• go for treatment early
• not use tobacco
• follow a healthy diet and regular exercise.
“CANSA is very excited by this project. Not only are we forging relationships with other cancer organisations, but our partnership with UCKG is allowing us access to people that we previously had no contact with,” said Bev du Toit the acting regional manager of the Cancer Association in Johannesburg.
By Ayanda Monyela