In recognition of World Cancer Day on February 4, we are supporting the World Cancer Day 2016: ‘We Can. I Can.’ campaign. The global campaign highlights how everyone, as a collective or as individuals, can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Next year alone, nearly 9 million people are likely to die of cancer, and left unchecked, the number of deaths will increase to 13 million per year by 2030. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do: make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We Can. I Can.’ will make a difference to the fight against cancer. The initiative outlines nine targets to be achieved by 2025 with the overarching goal to reduce cancer deaths by 25% by 2025. The targets include strengthening health systems, measuring cancer burden and impact of cancer plans in all countries, reducing exposure to cancer risk factors, universal coverage of HPV and HBV vaccination, reduction of stigma and dispelling myths about cancer, universal access to screening and early detection for cancer, improvement in access to services across the cancer care spectrum, universal availability of pain control and distress management, and improvement in education and training of healthcare professionals.
According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.8 million new cases in 2012, and is responsible for nearly one in five deaths. While most understand that smoking is the single greatest risk factor for lung cancer, regular exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk. In addition, environmental exposure to radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium, and uranium have all been linked to lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer also increases with a history of cancer in another part of the body, age, family history, radiation to the chest area, and lung diseases like COPD and tuberculosis.