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Let’s debunk the myths on World Cancer day 2014

world cancer day

As a young teen, my almost perfect world started to crumble when my mother died from breast cancer complications in 1976. Life was never the same without a motherly touch but  dad pulled it off so well. He became our mom and a dad at the same time. In In 1999, my 40 year old brother, Oscar died of leukemia (AML- 6) after an unsuccessful stem cell transplant in Bethesda, Maryland.  It is sad to lose two family members to Cancer. I am aware that cancer is  preventable by just having a healthy lifestyle and disposition. This is one reason I want to share World Cancer day with you.

Today, February 4 is World Cancer Day and a new global cancer report compiled by UN Agency, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows1:

  • As a single entity, cancer is the biggest cause of mortality worldwide2  – there were an estimated 8.2 million deaths from cancer in 2012
  • Global cancer incidence over four years increased by 11%* to an estimated 14.1 million cases in 2012 – equal to the population of India’s largest city (Mumbai)3
  • Cancer cases worldwide are forecast to rise by 75% and reach close to 25 million over the next two decades

The release of the World Cancer Report underpins the 2014 World Cancer Day theme ‘Debunk the myths’. The data shows that the world cannot afford to sit back and continue to let the global cancer burden grow. For more information on how to get involved, please visit:

What are the four myths?

Read through the myths by clicking thelinks to website or hearing my bubbly audio posts.

Myth 1: We don’t need to talk about cancer

Truth: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level. Read more.

My bubbly post:

Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer

Truth: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable. Read more.

My bubbly post:

Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer

Truth: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level, and with the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. Read more

My bubbly post:

Myth 4: I don’t have the right to cancer care

Truth: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence. Read more

My bubbly post:

world cancer day2
Click to enlarge (via PTV)
1. World Cancer Report 2014. IARC. Available at:

2. WHO Global Health Observatory. Available at:

3. City Mayors. Available at:

4. De Martel C et al. The global burden of cancers attributable to infections in the year 2008: a review and synthetic analysis. Lancet Oncol 2012;13:607-15

5. Ferlay J et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from:

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