Everyone knows what a terrible disease cancer is. We have all been touched by cancer in some way – whether by friends, family or acquaintances who have suffered and succumbed to it. But not everyone is aware that there are many people who don’t have sufficient medical care to deal with cancer or education about prevention and health.

World Cancer Day (Feb. 4, 2019) was instituted to help fight cancer on all fronts – through laws and policies, education and increasing the number of skilled healthcare workers in the field.

What can you do? The easiest thing you can do to boost cancer awareness is to use the World Cancer Day Facebook filter to help spread awareness. It only takes a few minutes and it’s fun! If you have a little more time, you can create a poster online to hang in your facility, post on social media etc.

Another thing you can do is educate yourself and your family about cancer and dispel some of the myths that are floating around about this disease. For instance:

Myth: Artificial sweeteners cause cancer

Studies have shown that there is no correlation between consumption of artificial sweeteners and cancer. In fact, all the sweeteners on the market have been tested and approved by the FDA.

Myth: Cancer is hereditary

While 5-10% of cancers are actually hereditary, the other 90% are not. Cancers are caused by mutations that happen as a result of aging or environmental factors. It’s important to avoid smoking and exposure to radiation, since these factors can cause mutations that lead to cancer.

Myth: Breast cancer only happens to women

Although women are much more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, there are still about 2,300 men a year diagnosed with the disease.

Myth: Herbs can cure cancer

So far, studies have not shown that herbal products cure cancer. In fact, herbal supplements might be harmful to a cancer patient and might interfere with chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer patients need to ask their doctor about any herbs they want to taketo ensure that they are safe and won’t interfere with treatment.

Myth: Cancer is a result of the Western lifestyle

It’s true that lifestyle can have an impact on the disease, but the reason cancer is so prevalent in the modern world is because we live long enough for mutations to develop. We are also better able to diagnose cancer than in the past. One in six cancers are caused by viruses and bacteria, and they have both been around as long as humans have.

Through your work with the elderly, you come into contact with cancer more than most. Please help spread awareness and accurate facts about this disease. Let us know how you are marking World Cancer Day and we may feature it on our Facebook and Instagram.