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During an individual’s lifetime, there’s a great chance that he or she will be affected by cancer, either being diagnosed with or knowing someone who has. According to the latest facts and figures from the American Cancer Society, there are an estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed and 589,430 cancer deaths throughout the U.S. in 2015. Although cancer research has made promising strides, there’s still no cure for cancer and raising awareness about all types of cancers remains as important as before.
Whether you are a cancer survivor, lost someone close to you to cancer, or just want to help educate others about cancer, there are ways to get involved:
Why Cancer Awareness is Important
Although many of us may be surrounded by cancer and are very aware of how it affects others, surprisingly, some individuals aren’t as educated or aware. For instance, while you may know about prevention of certain cancers and early detection or what signs to look for, others may not take action about their health until they’ve received a delayed cancer diagnosis; that’s one of the many reasons why education and awareness is important. Simply put, cancer awareness can help save lives and may increase the rate of survival.
Raise Awareness, Get Involved
While educating and raising awareness within your own circle of family and friends can help the ones you love, your involvement can make a greater impact. Here are few ideas to raise awareness and show your support:
- Hashtag it Up on World Cancer Day: Love or loathe the infamous hashtag, but it can be used for good. Consider #worldcancerday or #notbeyondus on Facebook and Twitter to show your support and share your story. On World Cancer Day (February 4, 2016) you can show your solidarity by changing your favorite social media profile picture to the official World Cancer Day Cover. March is also Kidney Cancer Awareness Month so be sure to share your stories and utilize those hashtags.
- Donate or Host an Event: If your life has become completely transformed due to Breast Cancer, you may be inspired and motivated to donate to Breast cancer research. You can donate to a foundation of your choice or you can host an event such as a concert, fashion show, dinner, or even a bake sale with all proceeds going to a cancer research.
- “Battle of the Bald”: If you’re a college student, get involved in the “Battle of the Bald”, by shaving your head to show your support and raise awareness for childhood cancers. Have a friendly competition with other colleges across the country and raise money for cancer research. Don’t attend college? You can always donate.
- Cancer Run Walk: You can get involved with cancer awareness by getting active. By participating in a cancer run/walk (there are probably several to choose from in your area), you are raising funds that will go to cancer research.
- Lend a Helping Hand: If you want to help, but don’t have funds for financial support, offer a helping hand to family or friends who are struggling with cancer. Create a benefit, cook meals, babysit children, or offer to drive them to appointments.