World Cancer Day – how each of us can play our part

Published: Friday, February 3, 2023

Saturday 4 February is World Cancer Day, a day that unites people, communities, and entire countries to raise cancer awareness and to act on preventing and reducing the risk of cancer.

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  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for one in six deaths.
  • Smoking is the biggest cause of cancer and death in the UK, here in Wandsworth we supported more than 400 residents to stop smoking last year.
  • We are also raising awareness of cervical, bowel and breast cancer screening programmes detect cancers at an early stage and in some cases, prevent cancer.

1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the UK, the 4 most common types of cancer are breast, lung, prostate, and bowel cancer.

Not all cancers can be prevented but there are things you can do to reduce your risk.

Around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to lifestyle and behaviours,

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not enough fruit or vegetables
  • Lack of physical activity.

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

  • Not smoking or stopping smoking
  • A healthy weight
  • Healthy eating
  • Being physically active.

Councillor Graeme Henderson, Cabinet member for Adult Care and Health,

“We’re proud to support World Cancer Day which is all about creating a future without cancer so that everyone has equal access to advancements in cancer, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“Here in Wandsworth, we play our part. For example, our hugely dedicated public health team supported more than 400 people to stop smoking last year.

“We’re also raising awareness of cancer screening programmes which save thousands of lives each year.”

Cancer screening
Cancer screening can detect cancers at an early stage and in some cases, and at times even prevent cancers from developing in the first place.

  • Cervical, Bowel and Breast Cancer Screening programmes are available through the NHS, free to all eligible residents in the borough.
  • You can also find out more by speaking to your GP.

Stop smoking advice
With the right support and advice, you are four times more likely to stop smoking for good.

Get involved
There’s lots of ways you can get involved with World Cancer Day, even if you have only a minute,