February 4 is World Cancer Day, and February itself is National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Let's shine the light on both, particularly in terms of urologic-related cancers like prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer
What is World Cancer Day?
As its website states, World Cancer Day is an annual event held every February 4 to remind us that cancer is a global emergency—and that we all play a critical role in combatting this deadly disease. Every year focuses on a different theme. The theme for 2022? Close the care gap.
What does "close the care gap" mean?
Close the care gap refers to the inequities in healthcare systems and services, particularly in low-income countries. Consider the following stats from the World Cancer Day website
- For white women in the US, the five-year survival rate for cervical cancer is 71%. For Black women, the rate is just 58%. (More than 90% of cervical cancer mortality occurs in low- and middle-income countries.)
- In New Zealand, Māori are twice as likely to die from cancer as non-Māori.
- Childhood cancer survival rates are over 80% in high-income countries but as low as 20% in low-income countries.
- Cancer kills nearly 10 million people a year, and some 70% of those are aged 65 or older. Yet older populations face disproportionate barriers to effective treatment.
- In refugee populations, cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, leading to worse outcomes.
- There are notable differences in cancer-related outcomes for rural and nonrural patients, even in high-income settings such as the US.
How can we close the gap and achieve more equity in healthcare?
Creating more equity doesn't mean giving everyone the same healthcare resources. Rather, as the World Cancer Day website explains, "Equity is about giving everyone what they need to bring them up to the same level."
Some of the ways we can collectively do this: educating ourselves and others, supporting healthcare policies and legislation that promote equity, and holding governments accountable for addressing the root causes of inequity in their communities.
And this isn't an exhaustive list, either. Learn more on WorldCancerDay.org.
What is National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month?
The month of February is all about promoting the importance of prevention and other proactive strategies when it comes to reducing a person's risk for cancer.
As the American Association for Cancer Research says, "Research has shown that more than 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed and nearly half of all deaths from cancer in the United States can be attributed to preventable causes – things like smoking, excess body weight, physical inactivity, and excessive exposure to the sun."
Early detection is also critical to better outcomes, so in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping up with important tests, like mammograms and PSA checks, is also essential.
And remember, knowledge is power. Check out the articles below.
At GBU, we're here for you.
Learn more about the urologic cancers we diagnose and treat . You can also make an appointment with one of our board-certified urologists.