4 February is World Cancer Day. It’s a global initiative created and led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The idea is to raise awareness, improve education and influence governments and other organisations about cancer. Many cancers and the resulting suffering and deaths are preventable.
There have been massive strides forward in the treatment of cancer in recent years. But while there have been awe-inspiring advancements in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, many who seek help with cancer do not get the best possible care. Factors such as income, education, geographical location and discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle are not uncommon and can negatively affect care, treatment and outcomes.
So this year’s the World Cancer Day’s theme is “Close the Care Gap”. Its all about raising awareness of this equity gap. Today, nearly two thirds (65%) of cancer deaths happen in the least developed parts of the world. But even if you live in a higher income country, inequities still exist among lower-income, indigenous, immigrant, refugee and rural communities. As Sylvie Meis (Dutch television personality and model) said, “Whether you are rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, young or old, cancer knows no boundaries”.
As with so many things, prevention is better than a cure. Tobacco and alcohol use are a major contributor to cancers. Did you know that tobacco causes eight million deaths every year and accounts for about 25% of all global cancer deaths? Stopping smoking at any age can make huge a difference. Doing so will increase your life expectancy and improve your quality of life.
Also, limiting or eliminating alcohol use can help guard against mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel, liver and breast cancers. Another factor that can improve your chances of remaining cancer free is making physical exercise part of your daily routine. Additionally, no matter where you live or your skin tone, moderating your exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds will reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
There is no doubt that early detection saves lives. Many cancer show early signs and symptoms that if caught will massively increase your chances of survival or avoiding serious problems. Each of us can be empowered with the right information to know what’s normal for our bodies and recognise unusual changes – and importantly, seek professional medical help promptly.
So, if you are struggling to lose weight, reduce you alcohol intake or stop smoking then Hypnotherapy can help with breaking habits, will power and support. If you feel this could be for you, then contact me.