Cancer cases on the rise: what can you do for World Cancer Day?

Though deaths from cancer are on the increase, the 4th February 2017 sees the annual World Cancer Day, where people around the world unite in their efforts to do something about it.

It barely seems a week can go by without a new news story about a food or lifestyle choice can cause cancer. From Nutella to roast potatoes it’s hard to know the truth about cancer and what we can do to prevent it.  

The facts about cancer

Almost all of us will know someone who have been through the life-altering experience of cancer. A shocking 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, and that figure is only set to rise. A new infographic produced by the organisers of World Cancer Day shows estimates of 13 million cancer deaths per year by 2030.

The top 5 most common cancers are:

  1. Lung cancer

  2. Breast cancer

  3. Colorectal cancer

  4. Prostate cancer

  5. Stomach cancer.

But what might sound like a negative outlook is being used to create positive change. This year World Cancer Day is highlighting key changes that can be made right now, both by individuals and healthcare providers, to try and turn around these disheartening statistics.

What can I do about cancer?

If you’re concerned about the risks of developing cancer, you’ll be pleased to know there are several easy steps you can take to reduce your risk:

  • Quit smoking

  • Reduce alcohol consumption

  • Exercise regularly

  • Adopt a healthy diet

  • Be sun smart

  • Be aware of environmental factors

  • Be aware of signs and symptoms

  • Get vaccinated

According to Miss Tania Adib, a consultant gynaecologist who specialises in early diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological cancer, women can use strategies such as eating  a more plant-based diet, like they do in places like Japan and China. She says, 'Eating these foods – which all have an high consumption in the East - are also associated with a lower rate of breast cancer and lower cholesterol.' Take a look at the full cancer infographic by World Cancer Day, and get involved in the conversation on social media using the hashtags #WeCanICan and #WorldCancerDay

If you’d like to know more about a particular type of cancer you can explore a range of topics on Total Health:

Cervical Cancer

Bowel Cancer / Colorectal Cancer

Breast Cancer

Endometrial or Womb Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Kidney Cancer

Liver Cancer

Lung Cancer



Oral Cancer

Ovarian Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

Soft-tissue cancer

The smallest units of an element. Full medical glossary
A common name for the large and/or small intestines. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
Relating either to the cervix (the neck of the womb) or to the cervical vertebrae in the neck (cervical spine). Full medical glossary
A substance present in many tissues and an important constituent of cell membranes although high concentrations of a certain type of cholesterol in the blood are unhealthy. Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
Relating to the endometrium. Full medical glossary
intermittent claudication Full medical glossary
An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary
One of two bean-shaped organs that are located on either side of the body, below the ribcage. The main role of the kidneys is to filter out waste products from the blood. Full medical glossary
A large abdominal organ that has many important roles including the production of bile and clotting factors, detoxification, and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Full medical glossary
relating to the ovaries Full medical glossary
Relating to the pancreas. Full medical glossary
Relating to the rectum, the lowest part of the bowel leading to the anus. Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary
The uterus. Full medical glossary