February 4th was World Cancer Day, which is dedicated to promoting worldwide awareness for this deadly disease. Many people in the United States and around the world are living with cancer and there are many ways in your community that you can help them. Keep reading the article below to find out the different events that may be happening near you and ways you can get involved to help stop cancer!
In 2018, an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States, and approximately 600,000 people died from the disease. The most common types of newly diagnosed cancer include breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer. February is the month dedicated to cancer prevention, represented by a purple ribbon.
Cancer Awareness Days, Weeks, and Events
Several days in February and throughout the year are dedicated to raising awareness about cancer — both the disease as a whole and specific types.
World Cancer Day Is February 4, 2020
Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is dedicated to promoting worldwide awareness and uniting the globe against cancer. This year’s theme is “I Am and I Will.”
Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge Is February 1–March 10
The Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge is an ongoing event among college and high school basketball teams in which money is donated for each 3-pointer made by a team taking part in the event. In 2019, it raised over $223,000.
Annual Community Walks and Runs in Support of Cancer
There are many walks and runs throughout the country in support of people living with cancer. Here is a list of popular walks and runs for cancer in the United States.
- Relay for Life — New York
Relay for Life is hosting two events in New York in April 2020; the first is on April 10 at Columbia University and the second is April 16 at Long Island University Brooklyn. Both seek to spread awareness about cancer’s effect on people’s lives and honor those who have been affected by the disease.
- Relay for Life of USC
The Relay for Life of USC event will be held on March 28, 2020, on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Like its New York counterpart, the event seeks to honor those who have lived with or been affected by cancer.
- Komen Philadelphia More Than Pink Walk
The Susan J. Komen More Than Pink Walk will be held on May 10, 2020, in Philadelphia. The walk is held on Mother’s Day and seeks to spread awareness of breast cancer in particular as well as raise funds for research.
- Relay for Life — New York
Conferences and Meetings on Cancer
Professional conferences and meetings offer an opportunity for doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical professionals to share the latest research and findings on cancer.
Upcoming conferences and meetings include:
The annual meeting of ASCO is one of the biggest professional cancer meetings of the year. It will be held from May 29 to June 2 in Chicago.
AACR’s annual meeting is one of the biggest professional cancer meetings of the year. It will take place next year in San Diego from April 24 to April 29, 2020.
- San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is exclusively focused on advances in the study and treatment of breast cancer. It takes place in December every year. This year’s meeting will take place from December 10 to 14.
- Southwest Prostate Cancer Symposium
The Southwest Prostate Cancer Symposium will be held April 16–19, 2020, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- 37th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference
The Miami Breast Cancer Conference will be held March 5–8, 2020, in Miami Beach, Florida.
- 2020 Summit on National & Global Cancer Health Disparities
The 2020 Summit on National & Global Cancer Health Disparities will be held in Bellevue, Washington, April 3–4, 2020. The summit will focus on minimizing the disparities in the quality of treatment for cancer patients. The hope is to take steps toward providing cutting-edge cancer care for the thousands of families unable to access such care.
Volunteering and Partnering With a Local Health Center
Whether you or a family member is living with cancer or you just want to lend a helping hand, many opportunities exist for you to help in the fight against cancer.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society seeks volunteers across the country to help local communities. People are needed to drive patients to and from treatment, help schedule the week of someone living with cancer, and dozens of other tasks. There is a way for everyone to contribute.
Becoming a telephone hotline counselor is a great way to help people in need of support and counseling. Organizations such as After Breast Cancer Diagnosis and the American Institute for Cancer Research can provide easy-to-read instructions for people in need of counseling.
If anyone you know or anyone in your community is living with cancer, consider offering them a ride, a meal, or other assistance. An organization is not necessary to lead volunteers in the fight against cancer, so be on the lookout within your circle for anyone you may be able to assist.
How to Spread Awareness About Cancer
In addition to donating or volunteering directly, spreading awareness in social circles is a great way to combat cancer.
Sharing on Social Media
Cancer Support Community is a Facebook group that highlights people living with cancer and events to support them and their close friends and family. In addition, use hashtags such as #beatcancer, #cancersucks, and #standup2cancer to spread your message to more circles.
Call your senator, congressperson, and local government and tell them to support healthcare measures that would make mammograms, prostate exams, and other cancer screenings more easily accessible through a variety of healthcare options. With these measures in place, more people will have access to state-of-the-art cancer care and early screenings that can save lives.