As the title suggests, today is World Cancer Day – aimed at raising awareness of cancer, and encouraging its prevention, detection and treatment.

Many of us know that in British Columbia we are lucky to have the lowest cancer incidence, and the lowest cancer mortality rates in Canada – no doubt due partly to the BC Cancer Agency and its model of population-based cancer control that ensures that no matter where you live in B.C. you receive the same high standard of cancer care, treatment and support.

But did you also know that the BC Cancer Agency has one of the leading cancer prevention programs in Canada, and maybe even North America?

As Dr. David McLean, head of the Agency’s Cancer Prevention Programs says, “We believe it’s much better to prevent a cancer than to treat it after it has developed.”  Dr. McLean is featured in our seven-part series on cancer prevention in Vim & Vigour magazine – you can read it here.

Under his leadership, and with direct funding from the BC Cancer Foundation, the Agency has created a team of 19 Cancer Prevention Coordinators who work in all regions of the province, building partnerships, assessing community needs, and helping communities deliver prevention messages about healthy living, sun safety, tobacco cessation and promoting the cancer screening programs of the BC Cancer Agency.

And speaking of those screening programs, we know that if a cancer is detected early, you have a greater chance of being cured.  So get out there and get screened – click here to find out which screening programs are available to you in B.C.

I think the best advice came from one of our Cancer Prevention Coordinators, John Raven, in our first issue of Vim & Vigour magazine:

Make one small change in your life.  Pick one thing and make a change.  When you’re successful at the first thing, you can go on and make another small change.  And remember to celebrate your achievements!

So today, let’s honour all those in our lives who have been touched by cancer by making one healthy change for ourselves.

Warm regards,
Doug

President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation