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Preventive Health

Stand Up To Cancer Day: How Can You Make a Difference?

6 Mins read

National Stand Up To Cancer Day is a day that’s honoured annually, to raise funds for cancer research through various online efforts, and to raise awareness about cancer and cancer prevention. In 2021, Stand Up To Cancer Day is on September 10th.

As one of the leading causes of death globally, cancer affects millions of people. 2018 saw 18.1 million new cases of cancer and 9.5 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. By 2040, the cases are predicted to increase to 29.5 million and 16.4 million respectively.

A CBS poll reported that 54 percent of Americans know someone in their immediate family who has been diagnosed with cancer.

With cancer impacting the lives of so many people and being so prevalent in our lives, it is important to stand up to cancer. Take action to help your loved ones, the loved ones of your loved ones, and people all around the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can raise awareness and stand up to cancer, read on.

How Can You Stand Up To Cancer and Raise Awareness?

Get Educated on Cancer

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to cancer. Knowing more about the signs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention can help you, and give you the knowledge to help others. 

Failing to notice a cancer symptom is incredibly common, which is why educating yourself is so important. Something as innocuous as a change in the color of your urine could be a serious sign of cancer, so educate yourself about warning signs as much as possible.

By gaining knowledge surrounding cancer, you will be able to better support the communities that need your help.

Use Your Voice to Help and Educate Others on Cancer

Now that you’re educated, it’s time to help spread that knowledge. You can use social media or word of mouth to raise awareness and help others learn more.

It’s always best to do this in a kind and open manner, as people usually do not take well to harsh or forceful conversation.

Provide Support to People and Organisations that Support Cancer Patients

There are many organisations worldwide that host events and fundraisers for cancer. You may want to attend, participate, or volunteer in such events to support the community.

Even if you are unable to attend, sharing the organisations and events with your friends and family can go a long way.

Take Part in Campaigns that Stand Up to Cancer

You can also participate in online or offline campaigns that stand up to cancer.

By sharing a heartfelt story on social media, recording a personal video message, and spreading the word through whatever means possible, you will be playing a large role in raising awareness about cancer.

Raise Funds for Cancer

Whether you choose to create your fundraiser or partake in existing ones, your donations can go a long way in helping cancer patients and their families. 

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Most Common Types of Cancer

There are many types of cancer, some of which are rare, and some of which are common. Below are some of the most common types of cancer that affect the most people worldwide:

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer cells form in the breast and can occur in both men and women, but they are much more common in women. Although many women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, the death rate has declined steadily in recent years due to preventative measures like early detection and annual check-ups. Chemotherapy is used to treat all stages of breast cancer.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer:

  • Your skin around your breast is irritated
  • You have a lump in your breast
  • You have flaking or redness on your breast

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate and it is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Sometimes, prostate cancer may not cause serious harm if the prostate cancer cells grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. However, other types of prostate cancers can be aggressive and fast-spreading.

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • You are urinating more often for no reason
  • You feel a more frequent need to urinate at night
  • You have blood or pain when urinating

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. It is a common misconception that lung cancer only occurs in smokers, but people who have never smoked can also contract lung cancer. 

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer:

  • You have a persistent cough
  • You have blood after coughing
  • You experience chest pain

Colorectal Cancer 

Colorectal cancer is also known as colon cancer, rectal cancer, or bowel cancer. It occurs in the colon, the longest part of the large intestine, or the rectum, the last few inches of the large intestine. 

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer:

  • You experience diarrhoea or constipation
  • You have bloody stools
  • You feel a sudden decrease in strength 

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells that usually develops in exposed areas. However, skin cancer can also occur in areas that aren’t normally exposed to sunlight.

Signs and symptoms of skin cancer:

  • You have large dark spots on your skin
  • You have sores on your skin that are red, irritated, or bruised
  • You have moles that change texture, colour, or size

Bladder Cancer 

Bladder cancer occurs in the bladder and is highly treatable at an early stage. Unfortunately, even early-stage bladder cancers can return after successful treatment. This is why people with bladder cancer go for regular check-ups to look out for recurring bladder cancer.

Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer:

  • You experience abdominal pain
  • You experience painful or frequent urination
  • You have bloody or discolored urine

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs in lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of your body’s germ-fighting immune system. 

Signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  • You have sudden weight loss 
  • You have shortness of breath or chest pain 
  • Your stomach is swollen or you feel full after eating a small amount of food

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer occurs in the kidneys and can be found in both adults (as renal cell carcinoma) and children (as Wilms’ tumour). With the rise of computerised tomography (CT) scans, more people are accidentally discovering kidney cancers.   

Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer:

  • You experience abdominal pain 
  • You have a sudden loss of appetite 
  • You have blood when urinating

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer begins in the uterus, which is why it is sometimes called uterine cancer. It is often detected early on because it usually causes abnormal vaginal bleeding. Uterine sarcoma is another type of cancer that can occur in the uterus but it is far less common than endometrial cancer. 

Signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer:

  • You have abnormal vaginal bleeding 
  • You have smelly, dark, or thick vaginal discharge 
  • You experience pain when urinating

Leukaemia

Leukaemia occurs in your blood-forming tissues such as the bone marrow and lymphatic system. There are many types of leukaemia, some of which are more common in adults while others are more common in children.  

Signs and symptoms of leukaemia:

  • You have a sudden decrease in energy
  • You bruise and bleed more easily
  • You have a weakened immune system

The above are some common types of cancer. However, there are also rare types of cancer you should educate yourself about. These include gallbladder cancer, throat cancer, cancerous brain tumours and thyroid cancer, for example.

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Best Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Cancer

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30 to 50 percent of cancer-related deaths could have been prevented by avoiding key risk factors and using existing evidence-based prevention strategies. Here’s how:

  1. Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables
  4. Maintaining a healthy weight
  5. Limiting your alcohol intake
  6. Practising safe sex
  7. Getting a hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
  8. Reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation and ionizing radiation exposure
  9. Avoiding urban air pollution 
  10. Getting medical care, check-ups and screenings regularly

The Importance of Learning Your Cancer Risk

At CircleDNA, we believe that prevention is better than hoping for a cure. You can take charge of your health by learning more about whether or not you’re genetically at risk for certain cancers and diseases.

CircleDNA’s Premium DNA Test comes with over 500 health reports across 20 categories, including 36 cancer screening reports and eight common health risk reports. We’ll let you know whether or not you’re genetically at risk for certain cancers or diseases so that you can take preventative measures and implement the right lifestyle changes.

It is important to find out if your DNA has cancer-causing mutations so that you can take action immediately. According to WHO, early detection of cancer can massively increase your chances of successful treatment. Furthermore, preventative measures can be implemented so that you can stand up to cancer and preserve your health.

Carissa Wong
15 posts

About author
Carissa is a Singapore-based freelance writer. You’ll often find her underwater, on a yoga mat, or in a new restaurant.
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