World Cancer Day 2016 - We Can. I Can.

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Every year on the 4th of February, the world focusses on cancer, a disease that knows no borders. World Cancer Day represents a unique opportunity to draw attention to what can be done.

This year’s World Cancer Day theme, ‘We Can. I Can‘ emphasises how everyone, as a collective or as individuals, can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. 

The cancer burden is rising with 8.2 million people dying from cancer in 2012, almost half of which were between the ages of 30 – 69 years.  It is the message of World Cancer Day that we can all make practical changes in our daily lives to reduce the prevalence of cancer.  

Preventing millions of unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer is not outside of our scientific capabilities.  It is estimated that at least one third of all cancer cases are preventable and more than half of all cancers could potentially be avoided through a combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular screening.  This amounts to up to 4.5 million cancers per year worldwide, that’s the equivalent of the entire population of Sydney. 

Here in Australia, approximately 130,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and this number is expected to rise to 150,000 by 2020.

Cancer Australia CEO, Professor Helen Zorbas explained, “Australia is a world leader in cancer control, and Australians experience among the highest cancer survival rates in the world. Despite this, one in two Australians will have developed cancer and one in five will have died from cancer before the age of 85.

“World Cancer Day gives us the opportunity to encourage Australians to be mindful about how their lifestyle choices can impact upon their lifetime risk and work to support others affected by cancer.”

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