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WORLD CANCER DAY SEEKS IMPROVED ACCESS TO REDUCE CANCER DEATHS
HAMILTON, BERMUDA – February 4, 2018, World Cancer Day, every 4 February, empowers individuals and communities all over the world to make forward progress in the fight against cancer. Coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is the single initiative that unites and rallies the world’s voices to raise awareness of cancer in a positive and inspiring way.
2018 represents the final year of the 3-year ‘We can. I can.’ campaign. ‘We can. I can.’ explores how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, everyone has the power to take action to reduce the impact that cancer has.
On World Cancer Day, cancer leaders call for equal access to reduce premature cancer deaths by 25%.
As a member of the UICC, Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre (BCHC) is working in the local community on a number of the World Cancer Day initiatives to provide equal access, provide the prevention measures and reduce cancer deaths:
WE CAN PREVENT CANCER – BCHC is working to equip individuals and companies with the knowledge of the links between lifestyle and cancer, which can empower people to adopt healthy choices. Individuals and communities need to be informed that more than a third of cancers are preventable through adopting healthy behaviours. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
WE CAN JOIN FORCES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Uniting around common goals will drive action on all fronts – in prevention, early detection, treatment and care - catalysing progress towards achieving the World Cancer Declaration targets. "BCHC is a firm believer in collaboration and works with Bermuda Hospitals Board, P.A.L.S., Agape House and other health organisations to bridge the gaps in cancer care, putting the patient first. An example of how collaboration in healthcare benefits the patient is our radiation therapy service,” says Tara E. Curtis, Chief Executive Officer at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre. “The pathway for radiation therapy starts with the oncologist working with patients to determine the best treatment plan. Two thirds (2/3) of cancers can be treated with radiation therapy. Once referred to BCHC, patients have their initial CT scan at King Edward VIII Memorial and then receive their radiation at BCHC. If a P.A.L.S. nurse has been referred to the patient, the nurse attends treatments and learns how to care for our patients during and after treatment. We work hard to provide patients with the highest quality care without duplicating services to keep health care cost low.”
WE CAN IMPROVE ACCESS TO CANCER CARE. All people have the right to benefit from these interventions on equal terms, regardless of geography and without suffering economic hardship as a consequence. “BCHC advocates for improved access to cancer treatment and services across the care continuum. In thanks to the continued generosity of the Bermudian community, BCHC has begun to build an Equal Access Fund,” says Curtis. “This fund is instrumental in enabling BCHC to subsidise the cost of services such as mammography, breast and prostate biopsies, bone densitometry, ultrasound services and radiation therapy, regardless of one’s level of health insurance.”
WE CAN CREATE HEALTHY SCHOOLS AND WORKPLACES. Schools can be champions of healthy behaviours among children, staff, parents, families and the broader community by cultivating an environment that supports good health. “We are a member of the Healthy School’s Programme, which works with schools to support children adopt healthy lunches and encourages exercise,” says Azuree Williams, Event and Education Coordinator at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre. “Our Centre also works directly with schools through our SunSmart and LungSmart programmes focusing on prevention of future skin and lung cancers.” Employers can implement measures in the workplace that will motivate and sustain healthy habits throughout a person’s everyday life. “The Well Bermuda Partnership, which BCHC is a member, encourages companies to support employees in leading healthy lives,” says Mrs. Williams. “BCHC also provides presentations to companies and community groups with a prevention focus; there are simple steps each one of us can take in our own lives to effectively lower our risk of being diagnosed with a range of cancers.”
The global target of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases* (NCDs) by 2025 is possible. However, to deliver on this global commitment†, the current inequities in risk factor exposure, and in access to screening, early detection and timely and appropriate treatment and care, must be addressed.