Staff and patients across the Fylde coast are set to make pledges to take action against cancer as part of a worldwide awareness event.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is backing World Cancer Day in February which aims to encourage everyone to do their bit to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Approximately 2,030 people living on the Fylde coast are diagnosed with cancer each year; more than 950 residents die from the disease each year. Over the last 15 years there has been a steady increase in the incidence of cancer across all ages with the most common diagnoses in lung, breast, skin and bowel cancers, with one in three diagnoses attributable to alcohol, smoking or obesity.
An awareness event will take place on the Mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Friday, February 3, from 11am to 3pm and everyone is welcome to go along. Members of the public and staff will be very welcome to go make a personal pledge to tackle cancer and pick up information.
The Trust’s Communications team will take pictures of people who are happy to be photographed making pledges. The photographs will be shared on the Trust’s Twitter account and Facebook page.
The theme of the international event is ‘We can. I can’ to reflect how everyone, as a collective or as an individual, has the power to take action and reduce the impact of cancer.
Jessica Jones, Macmillan Clinical Transformation Lead for the Trust, said: “Our team will be making pledges and we’ll be encouraging staff and members of the public to make pledges as well.
“It could be anything from pledging to take more exercise to eating a healthier diet.
“We’re asking people to come along and make a pledge to reduce their risk of developing cancer.”
At the event on February 3 there will also be a raffle and cake sale to raise money to directly benefit cancer patients at the Trust.
There will also be information and advice from various cancer specialists including the Trust’s own clinical nurse specialists, the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team and a Trust skin cancer advisor as well as outside organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK, Public Health and the Lancashire Bowel Cancer Screening Service.
The team is looking for raffle prizes, so if anyone has any items for the raffle they would be most welcome (see below for contact details).
Internationally, World Cancer Day is on February 4, however, the Trust is holding its event on February 3 so that more people are able to go along and make a pledge.
Worldwide, cancer will this year kill more than eight million people, which is equivalent to the entire population of New York. Half of these will be people from 30 to 69 years of age.
Dr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer for the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), said: “Preventing millions of unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer is not outside of the world’s scientific or financial capabilities.
“Governments have made global commitments to priority actions for addressing cancer; we now need to see these converted to national investments in treatment centres, services and skilled health workers, as well as health promotion.
“Employers can play a crucial role also by investing in the well-being of their workplace and the wider environment which they impact.”
With more than a third of all cancers (up to 4.5 million per year) being preventable through lifestyle interventions, the UICC is also calling on individuals to take responsibility for reducing their own cancer risk.
Simple measures such as stopping smoking, eating less red and processed meat, exercising regularly and reducing alcohol use can extend a healthy life, and must be seen as the first-line of defence against cancer and other associated non-communicable diseases.
Professor Tezer Kutluk, UICC President, said: “World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what everyone can do to reduce the impact of this devastating disease, now, and for the future.
“We wish it to be a springboard for positive change. Take action for yourself, your organisation or your community/country, as everyone can make a difference and inspire others.”
Visit www.worldcancerday.org for more information on how the day is being marked around the globe.
To donate items for the World Cancer Day raffle at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, please contact Jessica Jones on 01253 951 838 or Kerrie Newsham on 01253 957 147.
For all media enquiries please contact Ingrid Kent, Communications and Digital Media Officer, on 01253 95 68 75 or Ingrid.Kent@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk