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World Cancer Day 2010
by The Ovi Team
2010-02-04 09:57:15
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World Cancer Day 2010, led by UICC, its members and with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), will raise awareness of cancer prevention.

Each year, over 12 million people receive a cancer diagnosis and 7.6 million die of the disease.

The good news is that approximately 40% of cancers are potentially preventable. We invite you to join us in marking World Cancer Day on 4 February by promoting our exciting new campaign and spreading the message that cancer can be prevented too.

This coming February, UICC will launch the campaign “Cancer can be prevented too”, focussing on how the risk of developing cancer can significantly be reduced through simple measures:

    * Stop tobacco use and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke

    * Limit alcohol consumption

    * Avoid excessive sun exposure

    * Maintain a healthy weight, through eating healthily and exercising regularly

    * Protect against cancer-causing infections

* * * * *

"Cancer can be prevented too" is the theme of a new campaign being launched today in the lead up to World Cancer Day on 4th February, by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The campaign is backed by a new scientific report: 'Protection against cancer causing infections' which focuses on the nine infections that can lead to cancer.

"Of the 12 million people who are diagnosed with cancer each year around 20% of cases can be attributed to viral and bacterial infections that either directly cause or increase the risk of cancer," said Professor David Hill, UICC President. "For this reason the UICC, with over 300 member organizations in more than 100 countries will focus this year's World Cancer Day campaign on increasing awareness of the contribution of infections to the global cancer burden."

Cancers caused by viral or bacterial infections can be prevented through strategies such as vaccination and by adopting lifestyle changes, safe behaviours and other control measures, all of which could be implemented worldwide.

Dramatic developments have recently taken place with a second vaccine now available that is effective at preventing cancer: the HPV vaccine which protects against the human papillomavirus that can lead to cervical cancer, the third highest cause of death by cancer in women. The very first vaccine protects against the hepatitis B virus which can lead to liver cancer - the third highest cause of death by cancer in men.

Despite the existence of these preventative measures, there is a clear disparity between low- and high-income countries in incidence rates of cancer related to infections (26% vs 8%), access to prevention programmes and also treatment and care. For example, 80% of global cervical cancer deaths are in developing countries, and even where affordable technology is available, enormous challenges remain due to limitations in disease awareness and public health infrastructures, illustrated by the significant differences in the coverage of hepatitis B vaccination programmes worldwide.

"The possibilities offered by prevention calls for increased awareness of how some infections can lead to cancer," said Cary Adams, CEO of UICC. "Policy-makers around the world have the opportunity and obligation to use these vaccines to save people's lives and educate their communities towards lifestyle choices and control measures that reduce their risk of cancer."

Protecting against cancer-causing infections is one of the topics addressed under the umbrella of the 'Cancer can be prevented too' campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the fact that the risk of developing cancer can potentially be reduced by up to 40% through simple lifestyle changes and other control measures such as vaccination, regular physical activity, eating healthily, limiting alcohol consumption, reducing sun exposure and avoiding tobacco. "Comprehensive and coordinated national initiatives that focus on key risk factors are required to realise the full preventive potential of cancer." said Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO. The worldwide campaign is supported by a provocative digital campaign focusing on these six main lifestyle changes and control measures. 

* * * * *

The International Union Against Cancer (UICC) initiated the World Cancer Campaign in 2005 in response to the Charter of Paris of 2000.

The Charter of Paris chose 4th February as World Cancer Day. Since 2006, UICC has coordinated World Cancer Day activities, supported by members, partners, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international bodies.

"Today's children, tomorrow's world" – prevent cancer with healthy habits

This is a five-year programme, launched on World Cancer Day 2007.

It aims to raise awareness about the ways we can prevent cancer through the choices we make. 2007 introduced the overall theme.

From 2008 to 2011, each year will focus on a different issue:

        * 2008 – give children and young people a smoke-free environment
        * 2009 – encourage an energy-balanced lifestyle based on healthy diet and physical activity
        * 2010 – Raising awareness on the prevention of cancer-related infections
        * 2011 – teach children and teenagers to avoid UV exposure by being "sun smart"

"Today's children, tomorrow's world" focuses on kids. Healthy habits learned early in life have a significant impact in later years. The World Cancer Campaign calls on all those with a say in how children live their lives – parents, teachers, health workers and decision-makers – to help children make healthy choices that can mean a cancer-free future.

Each year, UICC helps its members and partners to run public awareness campaigns in their countries, measure their effectiveness, and promote regional education and mobilization projects.

        * 2008 "I love my smoke-free childhood"
          Provide children everywhere in the world with a smoke-free environment.
        * 2009 "I love my healthy active childhood"

          Raise awareness about the link between overweight, obesity and cancer. Encourage kids to eat a healthy diet and be physically activity.

For more: www.worldcancercampaign.org

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