- By Michael Bartlett
Undoubtedly, cancer has become incredibly widespread over the last century. The numerous carcinogens we are regularly exposed to nowadays, either environmentally or occupationally, as well as certain aspects of the modern lifestyle, such as diet and lack of physical activity, have been significantly contributing to the skyrocketing cancer rates which burden global population today. According to the World Health Organization, the number of new cancer cases will have raised to 25 million by 2035, which is a tremendous increase compared to the 14 million malignant diagnoses registered in 2012.
The beginning of the New Year focuses primarily on the health of the female reproductive system, namely on the risk of developing cervical cancer, the fourth most common malignant disease women are suffering from at the moment.
Every year, over 500,000 women receive a diagnosis of cervical cancer across the globe, 13,000 of whom from the U.S. Cervical cancer is most often diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44, whereas approximately 15% of cases are found in females over 65. If you would like to support cervical cancer research and the women who suffer from it, there are many ways to get involved or contribute, such as:
Trusted Source: The National Cervical Cancer Coalition
As the twentieth most widespread malignant disease in the world, gallbladder cancer is a quite rare illness, accounting for roughly 178,000 new cases every year. February is also National Cancer Prevention Month. Furthermore, communities all across the U.S. are striving to educate other people about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the country, with the occasion of American Heart Month.
Gallstones are found in more than 75% of people who suffer from gallbladder cancer. If you would like to spread awareness of gallbladder and bile duct cancer, you can use the following ideas:
Heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both the female and male population, is annually responsible for over 800,000 victims in the U.S. The issue is extremely alarming, as cardiovascular disease causes a death every 40 seconds, claiming more lives than all types of cancer and COPD combined.
Sometimes, heavy asbestos exposure can cause pericardial mesothelioma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer which develops on the outer lining of the heart (the pericardium). As people who suffer from pericardial mesothelioma rarely notice worrisome symptoms, they fail to timely seek medical attention and, thereby, the disease remains undiscovered.
The second month of the year is also National Cancer Prevention Month, a time during which we need to remember that approximately 40% of these awful diseases can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding certain environmental factors as much as feasible. Four of the main contributors to the development of cancer are excessive sun exposure, smoking, lack of physical activity, and obesity.
As for environmental factors, there are unfortunately numerous hazardous chemicals we cannot entirely avoid if we live nearby industrial areas, such as coke oven emissions and dioxins. Nevertheless, there are also some carcinogenic agents we can minimize contact with or even remove, such as asbestos. When it comes to household exposure, severely deteriorated or damaged asbestos products should be promptly disposed of by a licensed company.
Since 2016, World Cancer Day has been celebrated on the 4th of February all across the globe. It serves as a reminder of the extremely high prevalence of malignant diseases among the entire population of the Earth and the importance of supporting each other throughout this uphill battle, whether we are patients, survivors, caregivers, medical professionals, family members, or friends. At the moment, 8.8 million people die of cancer worldwide every year, nearly half of whom prematurely.
Trusted Source: World Cancer Day
Rare Disease Day has been commemorated every year on February 28th since 2008 by virtue of EURORDIS and the primary goal of this celebration is to raise awareness of low-prevalence conditions which, paradoxically, affect 1 in 20 people. It is acknowledged both in the U.S. and Europe. Initially, Rare Disease Day was celebrated on the 29th of February, as this is a rare date, but has continued to be commemorated on the last day of the month ever since. A disease is considered rare when it occurs in less than 1 in 200,000 people in the U.S. and in fewer than 1 in 2,000 individuals in Europe. At the moment, medical researchers have identified over 6,000 rare diseases.
Trusted Source: Rare Disease Day
Over the course of March, communities throughout the U.S. strive to educate people about colorectal, kidney, and anal cancer, but also about myeloma, a rare disease affecting the plasma cells in bone marrow. People suffering from lymphedema, a condition which is the consequence of a poor functioning lymphatic system, are also commemorated during March.
As the third most prevalent malignant disease among the American population, colorectal cancer results in over 50,000 deaths every year. Similarly to most cancers, the disease implies a poor survival rate of only 14% after metastasis has taken place.
If you are interested in getting involved and raising awareness of colorectal cancer, here are a few effective ideas we suggest you use:
Kidney cancer, the twelfth most common malignant disease in the world, is annually responsible for over 330,000 new cases. The lifetime risk for American men of developing kidney cancer is 1 in 48, whereas for women, the chances of receiving this diagnosis are significantly lower, namely 1 in 83.
Although studies yield mixed results, a causal relationship between occupational asbestos exposure and kidney cancer has been found. In 1989, a study examined three groups of people from different industries - products company workers, insulators, and shipyard workers. They had all been handling asbestos on the job for significant periods of time. Researchers concluded that there was 'excess mortality from cancers of the kidney, urinary bladder, and other urinary organs'.
If you would like to show your support to kidney cancer sufferers and raise awareness, you can find some great ideas on the website of The Kidney Cancer Research Alliance below.
The 21st of March, which is also the day of the spring equinox, has recently been deemed Anal Cancer Awareness Day.
To support Anal Cancer Awareness Day, you can share informative material on social media, donate to foundations whose mission is to lower the prevalence of the disease, tell your story as a patient, survivor, or caregiver, organize a local event which aims at raising funds for anal cancer research, wear purple and green.
Between 3 and 5 million people in the U.S. suffer from lymphedema, a cardiovascular disease which entails the swelling of various parts of the body as a result of a poor functioning lymphatic system.
Since lymphedema is under-researched and under-covered by medical insurance, raising awareness is of utmost importance to the men, women, and children struggling with it. Perhaps the most effective way you can show your support during Lymphedema Awareness Month is to ask your members of Congress to sign The Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA), which is meant to improve coverage for treatment and other related medical expenses.
By virtue of the International Myeloma Foundation, whose relentless activity has been going on since 1990, March has been recognized as Myeloma Action Month. As the second most frequently diagnosed blood cancer, myeloma leads to the body producing too many plasma cells, which results in symptoms such as anemia and infections.
Trusted Source: International Myeloma Foundation
It is worthy of note that diet often plays a crucial role in the development of cancer, as unhealthy nutrition promotes numerous types of gastrointestinal malignant diseases, such as colorectal and stomach cancer. This is why raising awareness of this essential aspect during the third month of the year is very important.
The month of April was chosen to raise awareness about a great number of types of cancer, one of them being esophageal cancer, a disease that accounts for 1% of cancers diagnosed in the U.S.
April is also Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, a type of disease which is expected to affect 9.310 men this year in the U.S. Although this type of cancer is known to primarily develop because of genetic abnormalities, asbestos exposure has also been linked to it.
This month we also aim to raise awareness about oral, head and neck cancer. April is also National Cancer Control Month, National Minority Health Month and it includes the National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week and the World Health Day.
In the last few years, non-profit organizations such as the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association and the Esophageal Cancer Action Network have used the month of April to spread awareness about this disease. If you want to be a part of this movement you can:
A peculiar fact about this disease is that for unknown reasons, the number of testicular cancer cases has increased in the last 40 years. A specific type of testicular cancer is called testicular mesothelioma. To assist with the research of this cancer and to raise awareness and aid victims you can hold a fundraiser to help patients who haven't overcome their disease, educate people and spread to word about cancer risks, contribute or donate to a non-profit organization such as the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation or the Testicular Cancer Society to make their work easier and help them reach their goal faster.
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week 2018 is held between the 8th and 15th of April. It is a week-long event throughout the U.S. during which people will learn more about these types of cancer, will talk to doctors, victims and survivors and will get a day of free cancer screenings.
Donating to non-profit organizations, such as The Oral Cancer Foundation, Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer and The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, spreading useful information to your friends, family and on social media and participating in fundraisers and rallies can help patients suffering from these diseases to battle them and help healthy people avoid them.
Celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, the National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week will take place between the 1st and 7th of April. Many young adults between the ages of 15 to 39 are diagnosed each year with different types of cancer. Donating to non-profit organizations and volunteering at special centers can ease the pain of these victims and give them a chance for a new life.
Unfortunately, there are still many injustices found in today's healthcare system. Minorities are often treated differently, or even refused treatment, on accounts of racial prejudice. It is important that you talk to the people in your community, participate in gatherings that target this problem and support the National Minority Health Month to form a better healthcare and a better society.
In April, many cancer prevention organizations decide to spread awareness to people, to teach them about the risks, complications, treatments and every useful bit of information about cancer. This month, learn as much as you can about cancer and relay the information to everyone you know.
May is a month with numerous cancer awareness days and events, including World Ovarian Cancer Day and National Women's Health Week. It is also Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.
Every year in May, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network organizes public awareness programs with the purpose of educating people about the signs of bladder cancer.
The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network also invites bladder cancer patients to share their stories, which will help increase awareness about the disease and hopefully make other people vigilant regarding the symptoms of this cancer. Volunteering is encouraged as well. You can join the BCAN Speaker's Bureau, BCAN Connection or Survivor 2 Survivor to support the community's mission.
Trusted Source: Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, brain and central nervous system tumors represent the third most common cause of cancer-related death among adolescents and young adults. There are numerous ways in which you can get involved as well, including:
Trusted Source: National Brain Tumor Society
May is also a month dedicated to celebrating the relentless work of oncology nurses, who are permanently attending to cancer patients and supporting them throughout their most difficult moments. The Oncology Nursing Society has provided medical professionals with a list of thoughtful ideas on how to show their appreciation towards oncology nurses.
Trusted Source: Oncology Nursing Society
The American Association for Cancer Research also celebrates National Cancer Research Month in May in recognition of innovative cancer research. The contribution of researchers and physician-scientists, as well as the implication of survivors and patient advocates, is invaluable to finding effective and safe treatments for cancer.
Trusted Source: American Association for Cancer Research
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is responsible for roughly 86% of melanomas. Nevertheless, non-melanoma skin cancer is far more prevalent than the previous, with over 3 million people in the U.S. being diagnosed annually. Melanoma Monday is annually celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday of May to signal the beginning of skin cancer awareness month.
Trusted Source: Skin Cancer Foundation
Because both neurofibromatosis and cancer entail DNA mutations, the research of the former may provide crucial information about the latter. You can find out more about National Neurofibromatosis Month and how to get involved by visiting the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Trusted Source: Children's Tumor Foundation
World Ovarian Cancer Day has been celebrated every year on May 8 since 2013, when patient organizations around the world united for the first time to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and educate their communities on the symptoms of this disease.
The regular use of talcum powder has also been correlated with a higher risk of ovarian cancer, since talc deposits usually occur near asbestos in the earth and contamination is thereby inevitable. Particles of asbestos-tainted talcum powder may reach the ovaries with frequent use, where severe inflammation will gradually develop. However, the link between ovarian cancer and asbestos exposure has not been confirmed yet.
Trusted Source: World Ovarian Cancer Coalition
The second Monday in May is National Women's Check-Up Day, during which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health encourages women, regardless of their age, to undergo regular check-ups. The program also emphasizes the importance of screenings, which are essential for the timely detection of serious health conditions and diseases, including cervical cancer screenings.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage to the peripheral nervous system, which is typically accompanied by symptoms such as numbness or tingling in hands and feet, muscle weakness and changes in the function of various organs. One of the causes of peripheral neuropathy is cancer. When a tumor develops near a peripheral nerve, it is very likely to produce damage. Finally, radiation therapy can also lead to this condition. In this case, the symptoms will ensue within several years.
Trusted Source: The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
The World Health Assembly has been organized annually since 1948 by the World Health Organization with the purpose of promoting health and finding effective solutions to ease the burden of disease worldwide.
Trusted Source: World Health Organization
June is Men's Health & Cancer Awareness Month, as well as the month we celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day.
The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) celebrates Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month every June. Whether you are a medical professional, cancer researcher or patient, there are multiple ways you can participate, such as:
Trusted Source: National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research
The purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness about health problems specific to or highly prevalent among men, as well as to emphasize the importance of early detection, treatment, and prevention.
You can participate in Men's Health & Cancer Awareness Month by:
Trusted Source: Men's Health Network
The National Cancer Survivors Day is held every year on the first Sunday of June. Survivors are highly encouraged to share their personal experiences, which can offer invaluable inspiration to those who are still battling cancer and also renew their hope of defeating the illness one day, while cancer patients are invited to talk about their struggles.
Trusted Source: National Cancer Survivors Day
While post-traumatic stress disorder is mostly discussed in relation to war veterans, cancer patients can be affected by this condition as well. In fact, PTSD is shockingly prevalent among people suffering from cancer, with as many as one in three patients developing it or at least experiencing several symptoms. National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day is celebrated every year on the 27th of June.
Trusted Source: American Psychological Association
July is UV Safety Month, an initiative seeking to raise awareness about the danger of ultraviolet radiation exposure, which is a proven human carcinogen and also the culprit behind approximately 86% of melanoma cases. Sarcoma Awareness Month and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Awareness Day are celebrated this month as well.
You can participate in Sarcoma Awareness Month in several different ways, such as:
Trusted Source: Sarcoma Foundation of America
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has deemed July UV Safety Month to raise awareness about the serious risk of ultraviolet radiation exposure and encourage everyone to protect themselves against it by using sunscreen appropriately. You can find plenty of invaluable information on the UV Safety Month's official page, which you can also share with others to support this awesome initiative.
Trusted Source: American Cancer Society
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Awareness Day has been celebrated every year on the 13th of July since 2014 by virtue of the Life Raft Group's initiative, a non-profit organization striving to contribute to the progress of GIST research and treatment while providing support and reliable educational resources to those struggling with it. Choosing July 13 as GIST Awareness Day was not an arbitrary decision: on average, 13 people are diagnosed with this form of cancer each day in the U.S. Some of the ways you can get involved, as suggested by the Life Raft Group, are:
Trusted Source: The Life Raft Group
World Lung Cancer Day, a commendable initiative of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), has been celebrated annually on the 1stof August since 2012. National Health Center Week takes place this month as well, while August is also Summer Sun Safety Month.
Since 2012, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer has been celebrating World Lung Cancer Day every year on the 1st of August. The purpose of their initiative is to raise awareness about this incredibly widespread and often fatal disease by educating people on the lesser known risk factors for lung cancer, the early signs of the illness, and the most reliable screening options available.
In the United States, over 90 official proclamations recognizing the first day of August as World Lung Cancer Day have been issued so far.
As National Health Center Week has been gaining more and more popularity lately, it is annually celebrated in the majority of states. If you would like to participate in National Health Center Week, please visit the official website below, where you can find a map with all the events organized by each state.
Trusted Source: National Health Center Week
Ultraviolet radiation exposure is responsible for 90% of the 3.3 million non-melanoma skin cancer cases diagnosed annually in the country. The vast majority of people suffering from melanoma - the deadliest type of skin cancer - also have a history of frequent exposure to sunlight. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime.
In 2015, August officially became World Cancer Support Month in Chicago after Mayor Rahm Emanuel had signed the proclamation on July 8. This ambitious initiative belongs to cancer survivor Johnny Imerman, the founder of Imerman Angels, who has been striving to facilitate support among cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors since 2006. So far, his non-profit organization has enabled over 10,000 one-on-one cancer support connections both throughout the U.S. and in 60 other countries.
Trusted Source: Imerman Angels
The month of September was chosen as a time to raise awareness of numerous forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, which up to 10% of individuals with a history of asbestos exposure will develop.
By virtue of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation's incessant endeavors to bring awareness to this rare form of cancer and raise funds for mesothelioma research, September 26th was officially deemed National Mesothelioma Awareness Day in 2010 by the U.S. Congress.
Regardless of whether you are suffering from mesothelioma yourself, have a diagnosed family member or would just like to spread the word, here are several ways you can participate:
Trusted Source: Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
Lymphoma Awareness Day is celebrated annually on September 15th worldwide. In the United States, the entire month of September has been dedicated to raising awareness of blood cancer since 2010 as a result of the tireless efforts of several non-profit organizations such as the Lymphoma Research Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Light It Red for Lymphoma initiative encourages individuals, as well as businesses, to speak up about this type of blood cancer and provide some inspiration to people who are struggling with it.
September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Accordingly, non-profit cancer organizations will be striving to educate people on key aspects of childhood cancer, as well as to support cancer research through fundraising. The American Childhood Cancer Organization and Children's Cancer Research Fund are only two of the groups whose implication is relentless both during the month of September and throughout the year. If you would like to bring awareness to childhood cancer, you can do so in many ways, depending on the extent to which you are willing to participate. From wearing the gold ribbon and sharing educational resources on childhood cancer on social media to hosting a fundraising event, non-profit organizations offer a lot of effective ideas in this respect.
Since 2003, Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month has been celebrated during the month of September worldwide, with 56 countries participating every year. The concept belongs to ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. As the largest community of thyroid cancer survivors, the organization has been maintaining and developing a network which connects patients with healthcare professionals for the past 22 years. You can find out how you can partake in Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month by visiting their official website below.
Trusted Source: ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly malignant diseases affecting women. If you are a woman, your risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1 in 75.
With the occasion of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, numerous non-profit organizations, including the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, will intensify their efforts to bring awareness to this terrible disease. If you wish to get involved, you can find a list of events which are going to take place in the U.S. during September on the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition's official website, which appears in the list below.
If you are a man, you have a one-in-seven chance of developing prostate cancer during your lifetime. The median age of diagnosis is 66. At the moment, there are nearly 3 million prostate cancer survivors in the U.S.
Starting as National Prostate Health Month in 1989 by virtue of the American Foundation for Urological Disease, September has come to stand specifically for prostate cancer awareness since 2003. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is one of the non-profit organizations which have taken upon themselves to spread awareness of this malignant disease.
Trusted Source: The Prostate Cancer Foundation
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, numerous non-profit organizations have already begun engaging in commendable endeavors aimed at educating the general public, promoting early detection, supporting people who struggle with breast cancer, and last but not least honoring survivors.
October is also National Liver Cancer Awareness Month. World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and National Health Quality Week take place this month as well.
Since 1985, October has been standing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In a thoughtful attempt of raising awareness with regard to breast cancer, multiple non-profit cancer groups throughout the world are striving to spread valuable information concerning the early signs of the disease and the importance of timely detection.
If you, too, would like to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are plenty of ways to get involved and show your support, such as:
Metastatic Breast Cancer Day and National Mammography Day are part of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 13th of October was set aside for the former, while the latter is observed every year on the third Friday of the month.
Since 2009, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network has been raising awareness of late stage breast cancer, of which approximately 40,000 Americans die annually. It is estimated that there are currently over 155,000 women and men living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S.
National Mammography Day, which has been celebrated annually since 1993, aims to promote early diagnosis in the event a disease occurs, as well as to encourage women to regularly monitor their breast health.
In October, you can raise awareness of liver cancer by spreading useful information about the disease, wearing emerald green, donating to a cancer research organization focusing on liver cancer, such as the American Liver Foundation or Blue Faery, as well as by sharing your story on social media if you struggle with or beat liver cancer.
Trusted Source: The American Liver Foundation
As the noble initiative of the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day take place annually on the second Saturday of October. The purpose of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is multi-fold, including:
Trusted Source: Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance
If you are a healthcare quality professional and would like to participate in National Healthcare Quality Week, we encourage you to take a look at the National Association for Healthcare Quality's official website, where you can find plenty of impactful and practical ideas to raise awareness of your work and show appreciation to your peers.
Trusted Source: The National Association for Healthcare Quality
The month of November has been chosen as a time to raise awareness of lung cancer and stomach cancer. In November, U.S. federal health agencies and non-profit cancer organizations throughout the world will also engage in commendable endeavors to increase the visibility of carcinoid tumors and pancreatic cancer in the hope of promoting early diagnosis and raising funds to further cancer research. National Bone Marrow Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month are also celebrated in November.
According to LUNGevity Foundation, 1 in 16 Americans will develop lung cancer at some point during their lifetime.
If you would also like to participate in Lung Cancer Awareness Month, there are many ways you can do it, such as:
Every November, the community behind No Stomach For Cancer dedicates their relentless endeavors to increase the visibility of stomach cancer as the fourth most common malignant disease affecting the U.S. population, emphasizing the importance of early detection, funding research, as well as encouraging stomach cancer survivors and caregivers to share their experiences with this terrible disease.
If you would like to partake in National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, you can find plenty of ideas in this regard on No Stomach For Cancer's website. Anyone is wholeheartedly invited to participate, whether they survived stomach cancer themselves, know someone who did, or just want to show their support.
Trusted Source: No Stomach For Cancer
In 2010, the Governor of New York, David A. Paterson, recognized November as Carcinoid and NET Awareness Month and since then, more and more people find out about this rather obscure but serious health issue every year by virtue of the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation and the International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance. Additionally, November 10th was deemed Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness Day. For ideas on how to get involved, please visit their official websites below.
Since November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, numerous non-profit organizations - including Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research - will intensify their efforts to educate as many people as possible with respect to the risk factors of pancreatic cancer and why early diagnosis is crucial, as well as to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. On their websites, you can find many effective ideas on how you can show your support, such as:
Trusted Sources: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
There are over 43 million caregivers in the U.S. at the moment, 70% of whom experience significant workplace difficulties as a consequence of their double roles.
To honor the invaluable work family caregivers tirelessly perform day by day, November was declared National Family Caregivers Month, and non-profit organizations such as Caregiver Action Network and National Alliance for Caregiving are particularly keener on raising awareness during this time of the year. Regardless of whether you care for a family member or are being taken care of, we cordially invite you to show your appreciation to these amazing people by donating to one of the previously mentioned organizations, whose official websites you can find below.
For National Marrow Awareness Month, we encourage you to become a donor yourself, which may save a cancer patient's life. Donating bone marrow is a low-risk procedure and the only requirements you have to meet are:
Ways you can participate in National Marrow Awareness Month:
Trusted Source: Be The Match
There are no cancer awareness days and movements in December.