Today, World Cancer Day 2011

World Cancer Day 2011
and how to prevent…

On February 4, 2011, CDC joins organizations around the world in supporting World Cancer Day to promote ways to reduce the burden of cancer. The World Health Organization estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease; it kills more than half a million Americans every year.

A Global Concern

Each year globally, 12.7 million people discover they have cancer and 7.6 million people die from the disease. This figure represents more deaths than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The World Health Organization projects that without immediate action, the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80% by 2030, with most occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

Research suggests that one-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through prevention, and another third through early detection and treatment. Despite having proven interventions for prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and care for cancer, these medicines, technologies, and services are not widely available in low- and middle-income countries.

The announcement of next year’s United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases is an unprecedented step in the battle against cancer and represents an opportunity for our generation to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease for future generations.

You Can Reduce Your Risk for Cancer

The number of new cancer cases can be reduced, and many cancer deaths can be prevented. Research shows that screening for cervical and colorectal (colon) cancers as recommended helps prevent these diseases by finding precancerous lesions so they can be treated before they become cancerous. Screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancers also helps find these diseases at an early, often highly treatable stage.

A person’s cancer risk can be reduced by avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, avoiding excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active.

Vaccines also help reduce cancer risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and some vaginal and vulvar cancers, and the hepatitis B vaccine can help reduce liver cancer risk.

Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood

You can also reduce your children’s risk of getting many types of cancer later in life. Start by helping them adopt a healthy lifestyle with good eating habits and plenty of exercise to keep a healthy weight. Then follow these tips to help prevent specific types of cancer—

Most skin cancers can be prevented if children and teens (and adults, too) are protected from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Kids don’t have to be at the beach to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays whenever they’re outdoors.

Human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, is the main cause of cervical cancer. It also causes many vaginal and vulvar cancers. A vaccine to prevent HPV infections is recommended for girls 11 and 12 years old, and for girls and women 13 to 26 years old who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger.

The best way to prevent lung cancer is not to start smoking, or quit if you do smoke. In 2009, one in five high school students was a current smoker. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes („secondhand“ smoke) also can cause lung cancer. Talk to your children about why you don’t want them to smoke, and don’t expose them to secondhand smoke. Further Information (here)

Video in Dutch

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