This year marks the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day (4 February). The three year ‘I am and I will’ campaign asks for personal, collective and government pledges to raise awareness, reduce deaths and improve quality of life for those affected by a cancer diagnosis.
To coincide with World Cancer Day, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), which is leading the initiative, has released the results of an international public opinion survey on cancer, which included more than 15,000 participants from 20 countries. The survey indicates a clear divide between higher and lower socioeconomic groups with regards to knowledge and awareness of cancer risks and their behaviours to limit their risk.
Results in brief:
- Generally a high level of cancer awareness among the surveyed population.
- Most recognised risk factors are tobacco (63%), UV rays (54%), and secondary smoke (50%).
- Least recognised risk factors include lack of exercise (28%), exposure to microbes (28%), and being overweight (29%).
- Individuals from lower-income households are less likely to recognise risk factors.
- This trend is comparable in those with or without a university education.
- Trends are irrespective of geography.