Dr Geetha Nagasree N, Care Cancer Centre, Gachibowli, Hyderabad. (Photo: DC)
February 4 is observed throughout the world as the World Cancer Day. This special day is marked throughout the world to spread awareness about early detection, prompt treatment and preventing disinformation, discrimination, stigma and to prevent injustice to people suffering from cancer.
The Union for International Cancer Control is one of the leading bodies which support the World Cancer Day to draw attention to the world cancer declaration.
This declaration calls upon governments, healthcare stake-holders and policy-makers to ensure steps are taken to reduce the burden of cancer and to promote the cause of cancer control, early detection, cancer care access, preventing discrimination and stigma of cancer patients, along with ensuring proper rehabilitation. Various events, public meetings, shows, runs, charity events, fund raisers, research meetings and patient interaction meetings mark this day.
This year, instead of the World Cancer Day being just a day, the theme has been set for three years and the action plan for each of the three years has been laid out. The theme of 2022 to 2024 is "Close the Care Gap". The campaign focuses to have an impact beyond the day itself and hopes communities will take up the responsibility to address the theme beyond the day well into the three years on a continuous sustainable basis.
The campaign focuses on emphasising the difference in cancer incidence and care available to various people based on their gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political outlooks, or any other discriminating factors.
The first year is about "Realising the problem" that inequalities exist, and that these inequalities are not set in stone and efforts can be made to break down these inequalities and try to develop a cancer free society, and a society where every individual has equitable access to the right kind of cancer care he needs. The second year is about "uniting our voices and taking action", where it is a known fact that we can make a strong impact only if we are united in our efforts.