World Cancer Day—4th February 2014—is an opportunity for the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise one voice in improving general knowledge surrounding cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease.
World Cancer Day focuses on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths.” The campaign will focus messaging on these four myths:
• We don’t need to talk about cancer
• There are no signs or symptoms of cancer
• There’s nothing I can do about cancer
• I don’t have the right to cancer care
The global burden of cancer has long been recognized with around 70% of all cancer deaths in 2008 occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Cancer is now a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008.*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer as the causes of the most cancer deaths each year. About 30% of cancer deaths are due to high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.*
The global impact of cancer has made World Cancer Day a truly international event, and one in which GE Healthcare are proud to support.
In June last year, GE Healthcare commissioned new research that revealed the burden bad habits and lifestyle choices were having on global healthcare systems, adding approximately $33.9 billion per year to costs linked to cancer care.
The study showed that the escalating cost of cancer care could be offset with annual savings of $25 billion to the cancer care bill if individuals took positive steps towards eliminating bad habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition and physical inactivity from their lifestyles.** This infographic highlights the link between bad habits and breast cancer. Dense breast tissue is also a contributing factor to breast cancer. Awareness of this link remains low amongst women in the US, as this infographic shows.
Tackling Cancer Together
In 2011, GE Healthcare dedicated $1 billion of its total R&D budget to expand its advanced cancer diagnostic and molecular imaging capabilities. The company has also devoted considerable resources in educating and raising awareness of cancer.
The ‘Tackling Cancer Together’ website uses multiple online resources, and allows clinicians, patients and caregivers, access to a wealth of educational and inspirational cancer-related material in the fight against this condition, such as:
• Cancer newsroom featuring all the latest relevant news and research gathered to assist and educate healthcare specialists, patients and caregivers.
• The idea that each cancer case requires individual, personalized treatment, is captured by the website ‘Is My Cancer Different?‘ This resource provides content and insights from leading health experts about the benefits of molecular testing and personalized treatment options for a variety of cancers.
• Breast Cancer Mosaic helping tell the stories of women, men, caregivers and medical professionals who have been touched by breast cancer. Visitors have the opportunity here to share their story with others.
• ‘Give a Little Beat,’ an online music platform powered by Spotify to share inspiring, uplifting and powerful tunes in support of the fight against breast cancer.
Additionally, in order to challenge a larger audience to make a difference in making the world cancer-free, GE Healthcare is collaborating with the American Cancer Society and its global partners to drive engagement. This year, guests can participate in collaborative webinars, where we bring in academic and physician thought leaders, and social media outreach. Webinars will be focused on healthy habits, cancer prevention, breast health and family history, and will be webcast. These will be open to the public. Stay tuned!