Closing the care gap this World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is on 4 February 2022, and along with raising awareness about cancer, it also gives us the perfect opportunity to find out why this critical health and human issue matters.

For example, worldcancerday.org shares these statistics: 10 million people die each year from cancer. That's more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. By 2030, experts project cancer deaths to rise to 13 million if we don't act.

To act, we must first understand the many challenges faced by those with cancer, such as the pursuit of equity in cancer care which has been a long-time goal. This year's theme is about closing the care gap when it comes to cancer treatment.

According to worldcancerday.org, this is the year to close the care gap by questioning the status quo and helping to reduce stigma. It's time to listen to the perspectives of the people living with cancer and their communities and let those lived experiences guide our thoughts and actions.

Close the cancer care gap - Who you are and where you live should not determine if you live!

We are at the height of medical science and technological advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. However, we are still restricted by barriers when it comes to cancer care. Here are some of the factors that negatively impact those seeking cancer care: income, education, geographical location, and discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle.

This year's theme - close the care gap - aims to raise awareness of this equity gap that is costing lives. From high to low- and middle-income countries, almost everyone is affected by this disparity in cancer care. But knowledge is power and this World Cancer Day, we're helping to give you the power of knowledge.

Each one of us can make a difference. Through our combined efforts, we can start reducing the global impact of cancer. The Close the Care Gap campaign is described as 'a three-year campaign with impact':

  • 2022: Realising the problem
    This first year of the campaign is all about identifying and understanding the inequities in cancer care globally. Develop an open mind, challenge assumptions and look at the hard facts. Remember that we can demolish the barriers to cancer care.
  • 2023: Uniting our voices and taking action
    Join with like-minded people to take action and build stronger alliances and innovative new collaborations. Take actions like:
    • Motivate neighbours to help a cancer patient with transport to cancer treatment
    • Band together to make sure that children battling cancer have healthy and affordable food options at home and school.
  • 2024: Together, we challenge those in power
    Bring attention to a higher level by engaging leaders. Armed with knowledge and supported by a united community, we can become advocates pushing for lasting change.
  • Insights from people living with cancer
    When you hear from those living with cancer, cancer survivors and their loved ones, you quickly realise that cancer does not discriminate. From babies to senior citizens and everyone in between - rich, poor, educated, illiterate, brown, black, white - whatever you do, whoever you are - cancer can affect you.

    Share in the experiences and key learnings of brave cancer survivors who are fighting or have fought cancer. Let their words of wisdom, hope and support inspire you.

If you or a loved one is dealing with cancer - remember, you do not have to go the distance alone. SAB Medical Aid is committed to supporting our members who are bravely battling this disease. Our various oncology benefits can help you fight and manage your illness.

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