5 ways to fight cancer on World Cancer Day
An estimated 1.8 million Americans will hear ‘you have cancer’ this year. Approximately 606,000 will die from the disease. One is too many. Fighting cancer is an issue that I’m passionate about and I like to share opportunities to support cancer survivors while fighting the disease whenever I can. So I want to share 5 ways to fight cancer on World Cancer Day.
What is World Cancer Day? Every Feb. 4, this global uniting initiative strives to raise worldwide awareness, improve education and create a catalyst for personal, collective and government action. Created by the Union for International Cancer Control, the goal is to work together to “reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equal for all – no matter who you are or where you live.”
As a bone cancer, melanoma and breast cancer survivor, I love being part of a positive, united effort to stop this disease.
The good news is there are almost 17 million cancer survivors in the U.S. Research, clinical trials and preventive screenings have helped increase these numbers over the years.
I put together some easy ways to help fight cancer. Whether you’re a cancer survivor or a supporter, your voice and actions matter. By working together, we can make a difference in the lives of millions.
5 ways to fight cancer on World Cancer Day
Use your voice.
Consider getting involved with cancer advocacy. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare each month, your emails, social media posts and phone calls can make a big difference. [Read my post on simple ways to help improve cancer care access.]
Cancer doesn’t care your political party, which is why I love volunteering for non-partisan organizations such as American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Livestrong, Cancer Policy Institute and National Coalition for Cancer Survivors. Our elected officials help shape policy and funding that impact research, clinical trials, new treatment options, preventive screenings, affordable care and more. Their votes affect lives and that’s why it’s so important to share our stories and remind them of their impact. Reaching out our legislators makes sure they know that fighting cancer is a priority for us, and we want it to be for them too.
If your family member or friend is going through treatment, or is out of treatment, consider checking in. Feeling supported really helps when going through a challenging situation like cancer. And keep in mind that just because treatment ends, it doesn’t mean their cancer journey is over. Many of us face ongoing side effects, physically, mentally and emotionally, long after treatment ends. Continued support and kindness from others are appreciated. I share some tips for being a friend during someone’s cancer journey here.
I’ve gathered a lot of cancer resources to share over the years. You can search my blog post by topics in the search box on the right side of this blog. Here are a few highlights:
Financial resources for cancer survivors
Cold capping to save my hair from chemo
There are so many myths and inaccurate facts and stereotypes about cancer that need to stop. If you have or know of helpful resources, consider sharing (feel free to share this blog!) with others.
Stop the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a contagious virus that affects everyone differently. Even seemingly healthy people sometimes experience severe side effects. Imagine the effects on someone with a compromised immune system due to fighting cancer. Or a cancer survivor who finished treatment but doesn’t want to risk their body again by getting COVID-19. Or anyone. We ALL are responsible for stopping the spread of this virus, and protecting not just ourselves, but others too. Wear a mask (over your nose too, please!). Social distance. Be smart and thoughtful about who you spend time with and what you do outside of your home. Here are some additional tactics for fighting coronavirus.
There are many cancer screenings available, including mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests and others that can help prevent or catch cancer at an early stage. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you, based on age, gender, family history, etc.