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The time to act is now

4th February 2020

On World Cancer Day, create a future without cancer.



2020 marks the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day. It's a year to ignite action to accelerate the reduction of unnecessary cancer deaths and to achieve equal access to cancer care for all.

9.6 million people die each year from cancer around the world. That’s more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

By 2030, experts project cancer deaths to rise to 13 million if we don’t act. More than one third of cancer cases can be prevented. Another third can be cured if detected early and treated properly.

By implementing resource-appropriate strategies on prevention, early detection and treatment, we can save up to 3.7 million lives every year.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.

Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis.

One in two people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the UK, the four most common types of cancer are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bowel cancer.

Spotting signs of cancer

Changes to your body's normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer. Symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor include:

  • A lump that suddenly appears on your body
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Changes to your bowel habits
  • But in many cases your symptoms will not be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions.

Read more about the signs and symptoms of cancer.

Reducing your risk of cancer

Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer. For example:

  • Healthy eating
  • Taking regular exercise
  • Not smoking.

Take a look at these toolkits.

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