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5 Ways You Can Get Involved This World Cancer Day

Web Exclusives — February 2, 2024

It’s a devastating fact: nearly every person in the world will be touched by cancer in their lifetime. World Cancer Day aims to change this by raising awareness, improving education, promoting research, and urging personal, collective, and government action to prevent cancer deaths while making life-saving cancer care accessible for all.

On this day, we celebrate the ways—both big and small—we can make a difference. Here are a few ideas to help you take action within your own personal and professional circle.

1. Educate Yourself About Disparities in Cancer Care

Barriers are common for many individuals with cancer and can negatively affect the care they receive. Some barriers to care include income, education, and transportation. Discrimination, based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or age, is another type of barrier. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators has partnered with Pfizer to develop a library of health equity resources so you can educate yourself and others on this topic.

2. Talk With Your Family Members About Their Health History

Often, a person’s risk of developing cancer increases when a family member—parent, grandparent, sibling—has also been diagnosed. In the article “Talking About the “C” Word With Your Family: How Sharing Our Health History Can Save Lives,” featured in Conquer: the journey informed, Maimah Karmo discusses the importance of creating a generational awareness of your health history and subsequently seeking the appropriate screening and prevention measures. She also talks about her own experience with breast cancer and how it led her to launch the Tigerlily Foundation.

3. Facilitate Diversity in Clinical Trials

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology, “the best management for any cancer patient is in a clinical trial.” Yet, access to and participation in these trials is inequitable. A recent article in the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship discusses the barriers to clinical trial participation that confront many people from ethnic and racial minority groups, and the ways that nurse navigators, specifically, can help overcome them.

4. Inspire and Instill Hope in Others

In the battle against cancer, it’s important to treat the mind and spirit as well as the body. And what could be more uplifting for a person with cancer than hearing the sound of cancer cells being destroyed? Thanks to a team of researchers, this is now possible. Learn about this remarkable achievement, listen to “The Most Beautiful Sound,” and then share it with others.

5. Sign the Call to Action to Close the Gap in Cancer Care

As part of its World Cancer Day campaign, the Union for International Cancer Control encourages everyone to ask their governments to improve health equity so that all people can enjoy affordable and accessible cancer care. Ask your representative to close the care gap; sign the Call to Action.

Want to do more? Empower others to make a difference by sharing this information on your own social media.

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