February 4th is World Cancer Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about how everyone can do their part to prevent and fight cancer.
People and organizations representing all types of cancer, including mesothelioma, are encouraged to speak out on World Cancer Day about how they can make a difference. From 2016-2018 the theme of World Cancer Day is “We can. I can.” According to the World Cancer Day website:
World Cancer Day is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (IUCC). According to IUCC, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 43,000 people die of mesothelioma every year.
How the Mesothelioma Community Can Get Involved
There are events planned all over the world for World Cancer Day. In New York City, the Empire State Building will be lit up in blue and orange, the IUCC’s colors. Mesothelioma patients and their families can show their support by finding local events in which to participate. However, the easiest way to get involved, is to use social media.
The official hashtags for the day are #WorldCancerDay and #WeCanICan. IUCC has launched the “Talking Hands” campaign as a way for people around the world to share their own stories and how they can make an impact in the fight against cancer. Individuals can write on their hands “I can” followed by how they fight cancer, and groups of people can use a collection of hands to do the same with “We Can.”
Mesothelioma patients make up a somewhat small percentage of cancer cases in the world, but even small groups can make a large impact. World Cancer Day is a great opportunity for advocates to raise awareness about mesothelioma, the dangers of asbestos exposure, and laws that could hurt or help mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma and Cancer Prevention
February also happens to be National Cancer Prevention Month here in the United States. There are many factors that go into whether or not a person will develop cancer, but there are some easy ways that people can help lower their risk.
The American Institute for Cancer Research offers these three tips for lowering cancer risk:
1Eat mostly plant foods, limit red meat, and avoid processed meat.
2Exercise in any way for 30 minutes a day
3Maintain a healthy weight
All three of those tips apply to mesothelioma, however, a fourth tip is also necessary: avoid asbestos and materials made with it. For mesothelioma patients, survivors, and their families, World Cancer Day and National Cancer Prevention Month can be viewed as opportunities to spread awareness about the risks of asbestos exposure and how to avoid it.
Learn more about World Cancer Day and how you can get involved at WorldCancerDay.org.