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World Cancer Day: Awareness for Cancer


Unfortunately, everyone has heard of cancer. As the second leading cause of death in the world, cancer is a formidable force. However, you can do something about this. World Cancer Day hopes to raise awareness about cancer and call on governments across the globe to prioritise cancer prevention and cancer control. By getting involved in World Cancer Day 2024, you can make a difference and be part of that change.

  • What is Cancer?
  • What is World Cancer Day?
  • When is World Cancer Day?
  • How to Get Involved in World Cancer Day 2024
  • Take Action to Prioritise Your Health


What is Cancer?

Cancer is characterised as the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells in the body. This group of cells then forms a lump – a tumour. There are different types of tumours, which can mean different things. For example, a benign tumour is not cancerous; a malignant tumour can grow and spread and a precancerous (premalignant) tumour is cells that could develop into cancer.


What are the Symptoms of Cancer?

The symptoms of cancer differ based on the type of cancer. For example, a common symptom of cancer is to have unusual lumps or swelling, but this is not a symptom of leukaemia. Other symptoms of cancer include:

  • Coughing, breathlessness or difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in bowel habit
  • Unexpected bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Pain or ache
  • Unusual breast changes
  • And more…

If you have any of these symptoms, it does not mean you definitely have cancer. You should speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.


What are Some Examples of Cancers?

A range of cancers can affect different organs or tissues in the body. Some examples include:


How Can You Treat Cancer?

Cancer treatment can vary widely depending on the type of cancer, its stage, and individual patient factors. Common cancer treatments include:

  • Surgery: Removal of the cancerous tumour or affected tissue is often one of the primary methods to treat localised cancers.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It may be administered orally or intravenously and can target cancer cells throughout the body.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells or shrink tumours. It can be external (focused on the tumour from outside the body) or internal (placing a radioactive source directly into or near the tumour).
  • Immunotherapy: Enhancing the body’s immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells. This includes immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T cell therapy, and other approaches.
  • Hormone Therapy: For cancers that are hormone-sensitive, such as breast and prostate cancer, medications can be used to block or interfere with the hormones that fuel certain types of tumours.


What is World Cancer Day?

World Cancer Day, also known as Cancer Day, International Cancer Day or Cancer Awareness Day, is a global initiative that was formed in 2000. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) created World Cancer Day with three main aims: to raise awareness about cancer, to improve education surrounding cancer and to accelerate personal and government action on cancer control.

World Cancer Day states they want to create a world where healthcare for cancer is accessible for all and any preventable cancer deaths are saved. This is because over 1/3 of cancer cases can be prevented through intervention, and another 1/3 can be saved through early detection and the correct treatment.

Many cancers can be caused by what is known as modifiable risk factors. These risk factors are things that can be changed and controlled by a person. For example, smoking, drinking alcohol, having a poor diet and physical inactivity. Additionally, more than half of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle-income countries. This shows the need for equality when it comes to cancer treatment, as many people diagnosed with cancer face barriers to care.


When is World Cancer Day?

Every year, World Cancer Day is held on the 4th of February. However, this doesn’t mean campaigning is only focused on this one day. Although there are many events held on this particular day, advocating for people with cancer can be any day of the year.

For example, the theme for World Cancer Day 2024 is Close the Care Gap. This campaign began in 2022 as a multi-year campaign focusing on impact. Having an ongoing campaign has allowed for more exposure and engagement globally, highlighting the importance of cancer control.

Specifically for 2024, the goals of Close the Care Gap are to build upon previous years of educating each other and spreading the word about cancer by pushing for change from governments and leaders. This includes calling for the elimination of health inequities, creating innovative strategies to combat these inequities and investing resources into this.


How to Get Involved in World Cancer Day 2024

If you want to take part in this year’s World Cancer Day, there are many activities to choose from. You could create a social media post, make a donation, go to an event or even complete the World Cancer Day 5k Challenge. The 5k Challenge is where you finish 5 kilometres however you wish! From running to cycling, swimming or hiking, you can choose how you want to accomplish your 5k. Why not take a look at the range of activities and events you can participate in on the World Cancer Day website?


Take Action to Prioritise Your Health

World Cancer Day highlights the need for early detection to prevent unnecessary cancer deaths. By checking in with yourself and making time to educate yourself on different diseases and cancers, you can prioritise your health, even at the busiest of times. At Home Health, we offer a range of cancer testing kits, from Ovarian Cancer Tests to Breast Cancer Tests, Bowel Cancer Tests, Pancreatic Cancer Tests and Prostate Testing Kits, equipping you with the tools you need to take action and focus on your health.


World Cancer Day FAQs

Is cancer a disease?

Cancer is defined as a disease that is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells. These cancer cells can invade and destroy surrounding tissues and can spread to other parts of the body through blood and lymph systems.


What does cancer cause?

There are many symptoms of cancer, such as fever, fatigue and weight loss. This can be due to cancer cells using the body’s energy supply or cancer cells releasing substances that change the way energy is produced in the body. Some cancers can also block channels within the body, meaning certain body systems cannot function as they should.


What does cancer mean?

Cancer is a disease caused by the uncontrollable growth of cells. These cancer cells are abnormal and group into a mass known as a tumour. Tumours can grow and spread to other parts of the body, infiltrating and destroying normal body tissue.


How is cancer caused?

Cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells. Typically, the DNA of a cell provides instructions to the cell about different functions, such as how to grow and divide. If there is a mutation in the DNA, this can cause errors in the instructions, causing the uncontrolled growth of cells, which can lead to cancer.

These gene mutations don’t have to be genes you are born with. Mutations can also be caused by other factors such as smoking, alcohol, radiation, lack of exercise and more. This is why some cancers can be prevented by changing your lifestyle choices.


How many different types of cancer are there?

According to the NHS, there are more than 200 different types of cancer. Some examples include:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • And more…


Is cancer a disease or illness?

Cancer is categorised as a disease. There are some differences between diseases and illnesses. A disease is a pathological condition of a part, organ or system of an organism as the result of various causes, either environmental or genetic. On the other hand, an illness is a more subjective term that is used to describe the overall well-being of a person.


What does cancer do to the body?

Depending on the type of cancer a person has, there are different effects on the body. For example, some cancers can change the number of blood cells in your blood, and others can affect the hormone system, which can cause changes in hormone levels.


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