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Building Awareness, Mobilizing the Masses

February 1, 2016 | General
By John Parkinson

The Upcoming World Cancer Day was created to help mobilize the global community to take a shared approach to research, form small advocacy groups, and get individuals thinking about cancer including getting tested and living healthier.   

The annual World Cancer Day is February 4. The event is meant to “save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action,” according to their website.

The day was created by the Paris Chapter at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris on February 4, 2000. The Charter's goals were to develop advocacy groups, promote cure and prevention research, and offer aid to patients through the development of services.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the organization that runs it, and this year’s activities for World Cancer Day include: social media actions such as its thunderclap campaign and localized events taking place all over the world. UICC is supporting events with written materials that can be downloaded right from their site.

Sharon Gentry RN, MSN, AOCN, CBCN who is a member of the AONN+ Leadership Council believes that while World Cancer Day is significant on a global scale, it’s impact is made to be felt at the local level. “It is a huge awareness event especially if the local media supports it with stories on cancer outreach and care in their communities,” explains Gentry. “The global push for population health management will support the overall effort as communities and healthcare systems improve the health of the people in their local areas. Better access and awareness to screenings in the community goes across local churches, barber shops, salons, schools, grocery stores, etc., and it will help to make the biggest impact on cancer prevention."

Gentry says another benefit to World Cancer Day is that it can also help those less fortunate get the resources needed to get tested. “It’s a time to highlight grants and organizations that help the “at-risk” population to have free or reduced-cost screenings,” states Gentry. She also says this is an opportunity for navigators to lend a hand by offering information to people about resources in their community. 

For those interested in participating in World Cancer Day, go here to see what you can do and if there are any events in your area.


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