World Cancer Day Highlights Physical Activity in the Global Fight Against Cancer
Today, on World Cancer Day, millions are urged to get active to help combat
the world’s most deadly disease. Under the banner ‘We can.
I can.’ the day will encourage people to be more active—in
every sense—in the fight against a disease that, in less than two
decades, will directly affect up to 21.7 million people per year.
To help spread this message, World Cancer Day is harnessing the power of
sport by encouraging sports fans, organizations, and personalities to
use their voice and reach through the ‘Support through Sport’
“We know that movement, especially a mind-body approach, reduces
stress and fall risks for cancer patients,” says Dr. Mansky, the
medical director at Frederick Regional Health System’s Regional
Cancer Therapy Center’s Oncology Care Consultants. “There’s
increasing evidence that these therapies help caregivers with their stress,
Dr Cary Adams, chief executive officer of Union for International Cancer
Control (UICC), says, “This World Cancer Day we want to inspire
individuals to play an active role in the fight against cancer, by being
physically active. Around a third of all cancers are preventable through
lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and leading a
less sedentary lifestyle. A large number of people also find exercise
to be of great benefit to their wellbeing either during or after treatment.
The ‘We can. I can.’ campaign is in its second year, and we
hope to build on the success of last year and spread the message further
Aside from prevention, a growing body of evidence shows that physical activity
significantly helps cancer patients, not only to manage the life-altering
side effects of treatment such as fatigue, depression, and heart damage,
but also to reduce the risk of the disease worsening or recurring. Research
shows, for example, that a breast cancer patient’s risk of recurrence
and of dying from the disease can be reduced by around 40 percent by doing
recommended levels of physical activity .
Professor Sanchia Aranda, UICC president, says, “Anyone can get involved
in sport, so it’s a great fit for World Cancer Day. Regular exercise
is one of the most simple and fun ways that people worldwide can reduce
their cancer risk. The messages around sport also link back to our cancer
messages about the importance of healthy eating, supporting one another
to achieve common goals, and working together.
“In Australia, the Australia Cancer Council is the official charity
partner for the Sydney 7s tournament, being held over the World Cancer
Day weekend. The event is part of the international HSBC World Rugby Sevens
Series and brings people from around the world. As well as fundraising
at the tournament, we will be using it as an opportunity to educate spectators
about how they can cut their cancer risk.”
‘We can. I can.’ make a difference: just as everyone can play
a crucial role in maintaining their own health and wellbeing—by
being active, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco, and moderating
red and processed meat consumption—everyone can also contribute
to the success of World Cancer Day. Every post, share, or tweet adds to
the noise and raises the profile of cancer in people’s minds, in
the world’s media, and on the global health and development agenda.
For more information, visit
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Here are some upcoming local events and programs that can help you get
moving and play an active role in the fight against cancer!