INTERNATIONAL Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) takes place on Thursday, February 15, and is a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.
Childhood cancer is one of the leading causes of non-communicable related deaths throughout the world.
It is estimated that more than 300 000 children are diagnosed with the disease each year, globally.
The survival rate in developed countries is 80% but in underdeveloped countries, where awareness, early diagnosis and treatment are lacking, the death rate is at more than 80%.
ICCD also highlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer throughout the world.
In South Africa, Choc (Childhood Cancer Foundation) aims at improving the survival rate, an estimated 50%, through early detection awareness training which leads to early diagnosis, thus enabling a better chance of being cured and increasing the survival rate.
Following on the cancer awareness day in Greytown last year, sponsored by Taylor’s and Superbody, a donation of R16 000 was handed to the Choc branch in Durban.
In support of ICCD, Choc has requested everyone to wear blue on February 15 — blue pants, blue shirts, blue suits, blue dresses, blue ribbons, blue hearts — anything blue to help spread the message.
In addition to wearing blue, buy and wear a “Have a heart for children with cancer” badge or pin.
The South African Children’s Cancer Study Group has developed a set of early warning signs for childhood cancer, which has been adopted by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology.
Leaflets detailing these early warning signs are available from Choc as part of the organisation’s awareness programme, which includes training health-care workers, traditional healers, and communities in detecting these vital early warning signs.
To date, Choc has trained 18 000 people, which has led to a noticeable increase in referrals.
For more information, visit the website www.choc.org.za
World Cancer Day takes place on February 4 every year to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
The theme “We can.I can” was chosen to motive everyone, as a collective or as individuals, to do their part in reducing the global burden.
The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.