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Media Releases & News

World Cancer Day – who are you and what will you do?

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

16 January 2020 – On the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day (4 February 2020), CANSA and Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), challenges individuals to make a personal commitment to lower the impact of cancer for themselves, the people they love and the world. Every year 9.6 million people die from cancer globally. In 2018, an estimated 107 467 new cases of cancer in South Africa occurred. * Non-communicable diseases, including cancer, are one of the World Health Organization’s ‘ten threats to global health’. View Infographic… #IAmAndIWill #WorldCancerDay

Elize Joubert, CANSA’s CEO says, “There are risk reducing measures for at least one third of common cancers. This means that up to 3.7 million lives globally could be saved each year through sharing of knowledge. Each person is connected to others in a unique way with a sphere of influence. So use your voices in your communities to raise awareness of cancer, improve knowledge of cancer and lowering risk by improving lifestyle and going for screening. Cancer affects us all and we have the power to make change for a cancer-free world.” Download WCD posters…

“The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at approximately US$1.16 trillion globally. Businesses can contribute to healthier workplaces and to achieving the Sustainable Developments Goals to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Workplaces can be a powerful voice in the community and act as a vital support for employees impacted by cancer. By promoting cancer warning signs and the choice of healthy foods, moving more, quitting the use of tobacco products, avoiding alcohol, being SunSmart, avoiding pollutants and chemicals (including asbestos, pesticides and containers containing BPA) and vaccinating against cancer-causing infectious agents, employers can help lower their employees’ cancer risk,” Joubert elaborates.

Joubert adds, “We’re here to help with cancer screening at our CANSA Care Centres and employee wellness programmes for workplaces.  CANSA also encourages sport activities as exercise can lower cancer risk by 30 to 40%. Take part in CANSA events such as Gijima for CANSA (a 5km fun run taking place all over South Africa on World Cancer Day) or join our CANSA Active team and raise funds for CANSA while doing the sport close to your heart. View more events here…  Offering care and support to cancer patients and loved ones is an important part of our service through face to face and online support groups and counselling. We invite you to join events where patients and caregivers are celebrated such as CANSA Shavathon and CANSA Relay For Life.”

Individuals, family, friends, sports groups, business and networks can share their personal messages by downloading CANSA’s World Cancer Day customised poster images and selfie boards and share on social media and tag CANSA:

Closer to World Cancer Day, the results of the UICC Global Cancer poll in which 20 countries (including South Africa) and 15 000 respondents participated, will be shared with the public. The aim is to take the pulse of what the public around the world feel, think and understand about cancer. This information will help the international cancer community in designing appropriate messages to engage the public and these insights will be valuable for policy-makers and government leaders.

* International Agency for Research on Cancer. South Africa Fact Sheet. 2018; Available from:


CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 12 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

Queries CANSA

Visit or contact the nearest CANSA Care Centre, call CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22 or email: In addition to online resources and Facebook support groups, CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 072 197 9305 for English and Afrikaans and 071 867 3530 for Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati. Follow CANSA on Twitter: @CANSA (, join CANSA on Facebook: CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa and follow CANSA on Instagram: @cancerassociationofsouthafrica and LinkedIn.


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