Don't be a cancer statistic

World Cancer Day 2012 is Saturday, 4 February. The theme – "Together it is possible" – is intended to highlight the importance of all people and institutions working together to reduce cancer deaths.Cancer accounts for one out of eight deaths. Two thirds of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countriesCancer cases are projected to rise from 12.7 million in 2008 to 21.4 million by 2030.WHO's Western Pacific Region bears a significant share of the global cancer burden, accounting for 32% of all cancers in 2008.

There were slightly more than 4 million new cases of cancer in the region in 2008 – 2.31 million in men and 1.75 million in women. Nearly 2.6 million people in the region died from cancer in that year.

More than 30% of cancers could be prevented by modifying or avoiding major risk factors. These include tobacco use, being overweight or obese, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity, low intake of fruits and vegetables, urban air pollution, indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels, Hepatitis B virus infection and sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.

Many cancers can be cured if detected and treated early. Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Do you get regular health check ups?

Every World Cancer Day seeks to raise public awareness about the disease. Know more about cancer and what you can do to safeguard your health.