In light of World Cancer Day, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek joined the world to support the cause by taking part in the #WeCanICan campaign by creating a dynamic social media poster.

“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, co-worker, doctor, or patient- Jennifer Aniston. World cancer day is commemorated to reflect on how cancer affects everyone in various ways, and how we can collectively or individually take various actions to reduce the impact of cancer on individuals, families and communities. Cancer day is commemorated because we take time to appreciate and recognize the people who lost their lives, battled the disease and are still going through the disease.

According to the World Health Organization cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites. In 2015 the World Health Organization deemed cancer as the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2015.  The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of:

  • lung (1.59 million deaths)
  • liver (745 000 deaths)
  • stomach (723 000 deaths)
  • colorectal (694 000 deaths)
  • breast (521 000 deaths)
  • Oesophageal cancer (400 000 deaths) (1).

Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd researchers believe that over half of all cancer cases are preventable. According to them, there are between 2.4 million and 3.7 million avoidable deaths per year, 80% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. Thankfully, cancer is not always a death sentence – particularly with the progress made in recent decades. Although incidence of cancer is increasing, in many countries more people are surviving cancer than ever before.

It takes an entire community to have an impact on cancer research initiatives, and to raise awareness about how devastating cancer can be for everyone. Learning and understanding about cancer is the first step.

To commemorate this day United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek came together to discuss the impact of cancer, how it has affected us individually and what we as a community can do to prevent cancer as well as raise awareness about the cause. The UNIC  team took photos and created a poster in line with the world health organization campaign #WeCanICan campaign. In addition to that the UNIC team pledged to spread the word by creating a buzz on all social media platforms.

The more that you learn about  cancer is the more you will want to do everything you can to end it.  Everyone is affected by cancer in one way or another with a simple tweet, a post on Facebook or an image upload on Instagram; you can raise awareness about cancer to millions of people. It may seem like a small gesture but in life it’s the little things that make a huge difference Join UNIC Windhoek and take part in the 2017 #WorldCancerDay #WeCanICan movement and post a picture supporting the cancer awareness cause. You too can make a difference.