Raising awareness doesn’t mean you’re immediately finding a cure for it, but it can help people with cancer, their families and many others in many ways which can help save lives. If you need more reasons, here’s 11 of them and a whole listicle on why you should raise awareness on cancer:
- Help reduce the stigma about cancer
- Connect people to the support and care they need
- Promote universal access to screening, early detection for cancer and prevention efforts
- Reduce exposure to cancer risks
- Encourage research and fund advancements in the field
- Strengthening health systems for effective cancer control
- Measure the burden and the impact of cancer plans in all countries
- Achieve universal coverage of HPV and HBV vaccine
- Improve access to services across the cancer care continuum
- Increased availability of pain control and distress management
- Improve education and training of health care professions
So how can you help? Well…
1. Educate Yourself First
It’s easy to read some touching article and jump on board, but it’s also not a great way to collect information before you pass it on. Even though social media is a great platform to communicate, it’s also can be an unreliable place to gather info as anyone can freely push their opinions as facts, weave it into a touching story, and it’ll spread like wildfire.
Worst of all for yourself and others is that spreading misinformation will work against your cause because it’ll not only spread false information that might hurt someone, but it’ll also cause others to stop believing in the things you’d say in the future – when they might be true later on.
To educate yourself, you should really talk to your doctor and other doctors, read up about it on official websites (hospital sites, national cancer sites, etc), ask people who are suffering from it and most of all, ask questions when you don’t understand something. The better understanding you have on the subject, the better you can help others.
2. Support Its Events
There are 656 events planned for today all over the world. Join them and show your support. Awareness days can be useful because they draw a good deal of attention. Organizing a picnic, charity walk, or other event in an environment where people can interact with each other in a positive way can get people involved long-term. And even if they’re not willing to help out financially, the memories and face-to-face connections made at the event will gain their support and eventually shift cultural norms.
3. Going With The Group
It’s difficult for many to actually get up and do something, however, showing what other people are already doing for a cause can be an effective tool to recruit new followers. People like to feel like they’re a part of something bigger and of course also that there is power in numbers.
The easiest step is to join a local group that engages with the community where like-minded people can meet and where you can use your skills to help further the cause. If you can’t find a local cancer advocacy group, why not form your own by connecting to national organisation and start an event with the support of some family and friends.
4. Donating & Fundraising
This is probably the most effective way to help the cause, and the best part are that there are many platforms to help raise money, whether in a traditional pledge drive or an online crowdfunding site. You also have to keep in mind that you shouldn’t set your sights too high and instead stress on how every penny is important whilst also outlining where all funds will go to.
Ensure that you take every donation with grace and gratitude and gather all the data (numbers, email addresses, etc) so that you can follow it up with a small note of thanks. You may get surprised at how effective this is to make people become regular members.
5. Spread the Word
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but awareness can be. With the internet being used by everyone, we have the resources to make a different right in front of us… everyday. If each person on your friend list can share one cancer awareness article, the impact would be huge. Just make sure you’re sharing actual facts, and whatever you do, make it a goal to reach a wider network.
Whether you or someone you care about has struggled with cancer, you can always still empower others with wisdom you’ve gained from your experience. And though it may seem like you’re just one person and that can’t possibly make much of a difference, the truth is that your efforts can have a huge impact on many individuals’ lives and the community at large.
Header image source here.