World Cancer Day 2013

Cancer Stigma: A Global Crisis

Around the world, more than 28 million people are fighting cancer. Together, we can end the stigma.

World Cancer Day, February 4, is an annual day marked to promote awareness of the disease and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. This year’s theme focuses on dispelling myths and misconceptions about cancer that often prevent people affected by the disease from getting timely screenings and the care they need.

In many societies and cultures stigma, fear and silence around cancer are barriers that often affect a survivor’s cancer journey and quality of life. Forty-one percent of people interviewed in a 2007–2008 study by the LIVESTRONG Foundation stated that the fear of a diagnosis was the main challenge preventing them from receiving cancer screenings. Delaying or avoiding medical support often causes poorer prognoses and increased suffering and death.

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