Today is World Cancer Day


Today, February 4th, is World Cancer Day. On this Day, the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) launches “I Love My Healthy Active Childhood”, the second full-year theme in their Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World cancer prevention campaign.

Why should we focus on children for cancer control? The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that 30 to 40% of cancers ? or three to four million new cases of cancer every year ? could be prevented by good nutrition, regular physical activity, and avoiding obesity. Overweight or obesity can lead to cancer. There is a national and now an international obesity epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 1.6 billion adults are overweight globally, and at least 400 million of these are obese. By 2015, 2.3 billion adults will be overweight, and of these 700 million will be obese. Healthy behaviors begin in childhood. We can change this and lower the lifetime risk for cancer in our children.

Encourage kids to make healthy food and drink choices and partake in at least 60min of physical activity each day. Families, health professionals, educators and policymakers need to promote health and prevent cancer, by adopting and advocating a healthy energy-balanced lifestyle for children, thereby reducing their risk of developing cancer later in life.

For more information about World Cancer Day, please visit


  1. I’m all for embracing the future of survivorship by focusing on the health of our children but the young adult population (15-39) has not seen any improvement in survival rates whatsoever in 30 years. Maybe not so much *how* but *when* are the needs of this entirely forgotten orphan generation of millions going to get the recognition it so desperately needs. With survival rates in pediatrics averaging in the high 80% range, most of these children will grow up, become long-term survivors of childhood cancer and join the ranks of the young adult cancer community ? and they’ll have legitimate long-term needs such as fertility, isolation, late effects, insurance, etc…

  2. Matthew- Thanks so much for your comment. I did want to point out that this focus is a cancer control measure that is attempting to change behaviors and therefore assist in the prevention of cancer. Starting healthy habits when young can make a lot of difference.

    As you know, the LAF is very involved with young adult survivorship issues and has funded capacity building, research and support programs to assist YAA cancer survivors.

  3. Thanks for these efforts to increase awareness regarding the cancer risks associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyle.

    Sometimes effective health-promoting measures get pooh-poohed by the general public, because they are unsophisticated and unglamorous, or they demand effort. People sound disappointed or angry that researchers haven’t discovered a “pill” that will reliably prevent cancer, yet they ignore measures that make a difference (e.g. stopping smoking cigarettes; maintaining ideal weight; exercising regularly).

    It looks like the LAF has accepted the challenge to figure out how to cross the bridge between people “knowing” that healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of certain types of cancer and “taking action” to reduce their risk.

    With hope, Wendy

  4. nicci drew says:

    Enjoyed seeing Armstrong recently at the TdU in Australia. Looked strong on the hills and did a fantastic job in furthering cancer awareness. (Thanks for signing my bike jersey too!)

    A couple of issues:

    As a medical GP, I was wondering if Lance raised the issue of withdrawal of funding of the cervical cancer vaccination to all women under 26 years of age in Australia..?
    It seems a great pity that in June this year, the government will no longer fund these very effective vaccinations against cancer-causing HPV.
    My patients will certainly not be able to afford the $150 for each of the three vaccinations needed to complete the course.
    Here is a proven preventitive measure for one of the most prevalent cancers in women and somehow its not backed.
    How frustrating!

    Secondly, does the Livestrong foundation place any emphasis on the education of the third world about the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoking?
    As an ex-South African , now living in Australia, I am so aware of the chasm between the 1st world and Africa , in terms of awareness of the dangers of smoking. It breaks my heart to see 12 year old Malawian kids sucking away on “Life” cigarettes.

    Thanks for all the good Karma.
    Until next time.

    Nicci Drew

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