Jordan Celebrates World Cancer Day 2011

Top Quote Jordan celebrates World Cancer Day (WCD) 2011 this February along with the global community. The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), The World Health organization (WHO), and the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Jordan have come together to highlight the importance of cancer awareness and cancer control as a theme for the 2011 event. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 09, 2011 - Amman - The World Cancer Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide with the aim of creating awareness about cancer. Since 30%-40% of cancers are preventable, it is of vital importance that people are informed and educated with the knowledge that could decrease their chances of developing cancer and in turn decrease the global cancer burden.

    The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) has played a pivotal role in the cancer control and prevention efforts in Jordan over the past few years. To strengthen this role, KHCC has recently established the Cancer Control Office (CCO) to undertake evidence-based interventions with the aim of lowering the cancer burden in Jordan. Initially, significant focus is placed on prevention through promoting healthy lifestyles such as healthy eating, adoption of physical activity, and avoidance of use of tobacco and exposure to its smoke. In addition CCO will undertake scientific research to generate data that could inform local as well as global cancer control efforts. This year will be full of accomplishments in terms of cancer control that will be shared with the public on a regular basis. Of course these accomplishments are a result of the complementary work between the King Hussein cancer Foundation and Center in which the Foundation plays a significant role in providing support and opportunities locally, regionally and internationally to ensure the goals and objectives set for Jordan are reached in the most comprehensive and impactful way possible.

    "We formulated the CCO's strategy through careful analysis of the cancer burden in Jordan and identification of priorities. To ensure achieving our goals and objectives, a structured monitoring and evaluation mechanism is in place. Our focus during the first two years will be on spreading awareness of risk factors and how to avoid them, performing scientific research that enriches our work and that of others, and cooperating with MoH and WHO to assess and rectify health care gaps" says Dr. Feras Hawari, Director of the Cancer Control Office. Based on data from the 2008 Jordan Cancer Registry breast cancer (19%), colorectal cancer (12%), and lung cancer (8%) are the most prevalent in the country.

    "Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular diseases," said Dr. Hashim El-Zein El-Mousaad, WHO Representative and Chief of Mission in Jordan. "Knowledge about the causes of cancer, and interventions to prevent and manage the disease is extensive," he added. "WHO is currently leading efforts into studying cancer risk factors through its specialized cancer agency, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)." On World Cancer Day, WHO released the new Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, which states that "undertaking 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers."

    World Cancer day is an initiative started by the Union for International Cancer control (UICC). The UICC provides a platform for its members from across the world to share and exchange information that results in a stronger fight against cancer. As one of the outcomes of these exchanges the UICC launched the World Cancer Declaration in 2008.
    The declaration highlights 11 key targets to reach by the year 2020 in order to lessen the global cancer burden. The most prominent targets focus on the need for devising cancer control systems worldwide, quantifying the cancer burden, fighting tobacco use, facilitating early detection of cancers, and improving the diagnosis and treatment process. The declaration is available to the public in several languages in order to reach as many people as possible. Individuals are encouraged to sign the declaration stating that they agree with the targets and that they will be personally involved to help reaching these targets.

    In 2010, UICC initiated a signature campaign "Together we are stronger" with the aim of collecting one million signatures to the declaration from around the world. The UICC states that: "This is an effort to motivate global leaders to set realistic and achievable directives for preventing cancer during the United Nations Summit for Non-Communicable Diseases…which will be only the second UN General Assembly special session focused on health since 1947."

    KHCC chose "cancer can be prevented too" as the continuing theme for the World Cancer Day for the second year in a row. Accordingly, KHCC decided to join the UICC campaign and pledge to promote the World Cancer Declaration through collecting signatures from the Jordanian community. In January, KHCC pledged to gather 1,500 signatures by February 4th. Through simple means of awareness and booths to inform people and collect signatures, KHCC was able to reach the target and even exceed it. Due to the success of the first pledge, KHCC has officially pledged a second time for 10,000 signatures. This will prove to be a very important accomplishment through which KHCC will be able to reach out to Jordanians and start educating them about cancer control. KHCC will continue to collect paper signatures through booths in several locations across the capital in shopping centers, media outlets and schools and universities. In addition an online method will be used in which people can log on the official KHCC website to read more about the declaration and then fill in their personal information and sign the declaration. KHCC will also be collaborating significantly with the WHO and MoH on this campaign as part of existing collaboration on general issues of cancer control.

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