World Cancer Day is meaningful to so many of us because this devastating disease has directly affected our lives. We have become familiar with cancer – ourselves, our friends, our families – and we are dedicated to finding solutions. On World Cancer Day, February 4th, we join with others to focus on moving forward in a number of ways.
An organization called Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has stepped into a leadership position in the fight against cancer. Their intention is to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. World Cancer Day was created by UICC.
Foundation of Beliefs
What does this organization believe – what is their foundation? According to their website their belief is as follows: 1) We believe that access to life-saving cancer diagnosis, treatment and care should be equitable for all – no matter where you live, what your income, your ethnicity or gender. 2) We believe that governments must be accountable and national leadership on policies, legislations, investment and innovation is key to accelerated progress and 3) We believe that every action matters, whether it is small or big, and that by working together we will create lasting change.
Belief #1 is completely in alignment with AMS Fulfillment’s beliefs as a B Corporation. Every one of us wants cancer care to be available to all. And yes, in #2 governments could be made accountable for progress. We believe that corporations are accountable for progress too. Belief #3 is an easy one to join on to – yes – every action matters, we know that, and the way to make a change is to work together.
How did world cancer day begin?
World Cancer Day was discussed and agreed upon at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, which took place on the 4th of February in the year 2000. The UICC organization is dedicated to promoting research, preventing cancer, improving patient services, raising awareness and making progress against cancer. The date of the agreement is the celebration day – February 4th.
The organization asks us to realize that nearly half the world’s population lacks access to basic cancer care even though there are so many advancements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. That is a sad truth and the task before us is great. We need to work together to be the change we want to see in the world.
Closing the Equity Gap
The World Cancer Day celebration and the organization that brought it to pass has the intention of Closing the Gap. What does that mean, to close the gap? The following is from the WCD website:
“We can close the gap. The reality today is that who you are and where you live could mean the difference between life and death. It isn’t fair. But we can change this.
“This is the equity gap – and it’s costing lives. People who seek cancer care hit barriers at every turn. Income, education, geographical location and discrimination based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle are just a few of the factors that can negatively affect care. The most disadvantaged groups are also more likely to have increased exposures to a host of other risk factors, like tobacco, unhealthy diet or environmental hazards.
“The gap affects everyone. You might feel like the equity gap doesn’t impact you personally, but it likely does affect someone you know. While it’s more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries, well-resourced countries show dramatic disparities too. It’s almost guaranteed that the gap affects you or people in your community.”
How to celebrate and help
AMS is a B Corporation, and we have a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring and promotion and in all areas of interaction with the world. We want a world that fully embraces equity in cancer treatment and care, and we support organizations such as UICC working to close the gap and bring cancer treatment and care to everyone.
World Cancer Day is not limited to medical centers and international organizations. People, local businesses, corporations, and governments all come together to inform the general public about the types of cancer, how to be aware of it, and the potential treatments and measures to be taken in case of detection.
Cancer has numerous types, so there are various colors and symbols used to mark a specific type of cancer and promote the fight against it. For example, the orange ribbon creates awareness of cancer in children, while the pink ribbon is associated with breast cancer awareness. The American Cancer Society uses the daffodil flower as a symbol of hope for patients and survivors.
Participate in a Campaign
We are happy to bring to the attention of our readers to World Cancer Day on February 4th and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Nearly every one of us has a relationship with cancer through family or friends and we want to see healing, and a world where no one is denied the best of care due to birth or economic circumstances.
We encourage participation in the World Cancer Day campaigns which are taking place in many cities around the world. Readers can click HERE for a map of activities taking place in many cities and countries. If you don’t find your city in that world map, we recommend a quick google search as some of the events are online in the form of virtual races and other events.
Let’s join in and Close the Gap!