On February 4th, the world unites and fights against all types of cancer. Today, World Cancer Day, helps raise awareness for cancer (which causes over nine million deaths per year) and its prevention methods. Each year, The Union for International Cancer Control works to reimagine a world where we prevent millions of cancer deaths and provide equal access to live-saving cancer treatments.
Did you know that approximately 1.8 million people receive cancer diagnoses annually here in the United States? What’s more, last year alone, cancer killed around 606,800 U.S. citizens. The most common forms of cancer here in the United States are breast cancer, lung cancer, and bronchial cancer.
Luckily, there are four easy ways for you to protect yourself against cancer:
1. Don’t use tobacco!
Doctors link tobacco use to many forms of cancer. If you need help kicking your tobacco use, talk to your doctor.
2. Take care of your body.
Healthy bodies can fight off illness better than unhealthy ones. So eat more fruits and veggies, drink less alcohol, and limit your consumption of processed meats. Also, stay active. Regular physical activity helps reduce your risk of cancer.
3. Protect yourself from the sun!
Although skin cancer is extremely common, we can easily avoid it if we shield ourselves from the sun. Apply sunscreen, find shade, and stay out of the midday sun so that you can avoid high UV exposure.
4. See your doctor regularly.
Receiving regular medical care can help you detect cancer in its early stages and increase your odds of survival. Also, staying up to date on vaccinations helps you avoid other diseases like Hepatitis B and HPV, which are both linked to cancer.
Speaking from personal experience, watching your loved ones battle a terminal illness like cancer is devastating. But every February 4th, we can help create a cancer-free future when we support World Cancer Day efforts. So check in with your doctor, ask questions, show support for cancer awareness, and use your voice to speak out about cancer prevention. I wish that we lived in a world without cancer, but until we do, support those with cancer and help educate others so that we can make a difference.
Feature Image via My Sister’s Keeper