World Cancer Day, is the annual observance held on February 4 that is intended to increase global awareness of cancer. World Cancer Day originated in 2000 at the first World Summit Against Cancer, which was held in Paris. At this meeting, leaders of government agencies and cancer organizations from around the world signed the Charter of Paris Against Cancer, a document containing 10 articles that outlined a cooperative global commitment to improving the quality of life of cancer patients and to the continued investment in and advancement of cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Article X of the charter formally declared February 4 as World Cancer Day “so that each year, the Charter of Paris will be in the hearts and minds of people around the world.”
For twenty-one years, global residents have “observed” World Cancer Day, creating the trending hashtag #worldcancerday so survivors, families and healthcare workers can share their stories on social media.
“Cancer awareness has become exceedingly important in the 21st century. While there have been numerous advancements in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of cancer—factors that should contribute to the decline of the disease—the number of new cancer cases diagnosed each year has globally continued to increase. There were 8.1 million new cases diagnosed in 1990, 10 million in 2000, 12.4 million in 2008, and 14.1 million in 2012. The number of annual deaths worldwide from cancer has also increased—from 5.2 million people in 1990 to 8.2 million people in 2012 to an estimated 9.6 million in 2018. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if the incidence of cancer continues to grow at the reported rate, the number of deaths worldwide from cancer will increase to more than 16.3 million by 2040. However, also according to WHO, as many as 40 percent of deaths from cancer are preventable. As a result, raising awareness of cancer prevention has become a prominent goal of many cancer and health organizations around the world, and World Cancer Day has come to represent an annual reaffirmation of the importance of this goal.”(Rogers, Kara. “World Cancer Day”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 17 Sep. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/World-Cancer-Day. Accessed 4 February 2021.)
We are so concerned with Covid-19 right now, but the tragic reality is that while we roll out a vaccination program to combat Covid, there is no such vaccine available for cancer. Research is ongoing, but even with all the technology at our fingertips, the causes and cure for cancer continues to allude us. Our world health and political leaders have for the last year showed a single-mindedness to combat Covid, and rightly so, given the voraciousness of the virus. This world-wide effort has resulted in a vaccine that has been approved in record time and administered in what will likely be in the millions of doses in a relatively short amount of time. That is impressive! However, the research and finding a cure for cancer seems to plod along in an almost snail-like pace in comparison. The fact remains that even though we mourn the tragic loss of life due to Covid, there will never be the same number of Covid deaths as the ones cancer claims globally each year.
I am doing my part to bring awareness to cancer prevention, research etc., by sharing my survival story through my writing and my journey walk with God. My faith has not been shaken. My personal story with cancer gives credit to all those people God placed in my life so I would not battle cancer alone. Healthcare workers, family, friends and prayer warriors stood with me. I am thriving because of them. God was and is my constant Companion and Source of strength; my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
I pray that a cure for cancer in all its forms will be found so that my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren will never have to face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes!