SOURCE: LIVESTRONG

LIVESTRONG

LIVESTRONG

February 01, 2011 19:26 ET

JSI and LIVESTRONG® Cancer Anti-Stigma Initiative Commemorates World Cancer Day in Soweto

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - February 1, 2011) - On 4th February 2011 at 9h00am, the JSI and LIVESTRONG Cancer Anti-Stigma Initiative will commemorate World Cancer Day with an event at Orlando Communal Hall, Orlando East, Soweto.

World Cancer Day is marked on 4 February every year to raise awareness of the global impact of cancer and increase understanding of prevention, detection, treatment and care. This year, for the first time in history, cancer bears the horrifying distinction of being the world's leading cause of death. Cancer claims eight million lives a year -- more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Cancer stigma in South Africa presents itself in various forms depending on the community, culture and other variables. Stigma may inhibit people from seeking medical help and getting screened for cancer, even when they have symptoms that are associated with cancer. During diagnosis, stigma affects the way a patient might be treated and their ability to feel comfortable navigating the medical system. After diagnosis, stigma may reduce the likelihood of people taking or complying with treatment and their ability to tell others and seek the emotional and psychological support needed.

"The Initiative has inspired me to stand tall against cancer stigma and talk confidently about cancer with no fear or shame," said David Mkefa, a throat cancer survivor from Orlando East. "People should hold hands of those affected and lift them up to live normal lives."

The event is expected to be attended by celebrities such as Lillian Dube and others. In addition, there will be an aerobics marathon, drama, musical entertainment and quizzes to test your knowledge about cancer. 

The goal of the Cancer Anti-Stigma Initiative is to reduce cancer stigma through media, community outreach, special events and public relations. The Initiative addresses stigma by identifying potential survivors who would like to share their personal stories about living with cancer and collaborates with local organizations and the Department of Health.

About the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign
In September 2008, Lance Armstrong, LIVESTRONG founder and chairman, cancer survivor and champion cyclist, announced LIVESTRONG's commitment to making cancer a global priority at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York. LIVESTRONG made this commitment after its worldwide research, conducted over 18 months, revealed widespread misconceptions, stigma and lack of awareness associated with cancer and recognized an immediate need to address this global epidemic. In response, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign was established.

In 2009, LIVESTRONG launched the first-ever unified global movement against cancer by urging world leaders, leading cancer organizations and cancer survivors to join its effort. After traveling to Australia, Mexico, Italy, Monaco, France and Ireland in its inaugural year, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign achieved significant results generating more than 350 commitments to the fight against cancer. These commitments represent work in more than 65 countries around the world and an investment in cancer control of more than $200 million in year one alone. 

In 2010, LIVESTRONG has continued its trail-blazing efforts to reduce the burden of cancer by tackling the stigma that the surrounds the disease. The Global Campaign launched in South Africa in March with a visit by Armstrong to Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town to meet with fellow survivors and activities for programs around anti-stigma and survivor empowerment began in earnest in May.

To date, the Global Campaign has reached more than 200 million people and in September 2011 the United Nations General Assembly will convene the first-ever Summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Summit has the potential to secure commitments from Heads of Government for a coordinated global response to NCDs, substantially increase resources for them and save millions from premature death and debilitating health complications.

About LIVESTRONG
Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and based in Austin, Texas, LIVESTRONG fights for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG connects individuals to the support they need, leverages funding and resources to spur innovation and engages communities and leaders to drive social change. Known for the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG's mission is to inspire and empower anyone affected by cancer. For more information visit www.LIVESTRONG.org.

About John Snow, Inc.
John Snow, Inc. (JSI) is a public health research and consulting firm founded in 1978 and dedicated to promoting and improving the health of individuals and communities in the United States and around the world. JSI collaborates with regional, national and international partners to build local capacity to address critical health problems. Through management assistance, research and evaluation, and education, JSI works to enable clients to provide culturally appropriate services in an efficient, effective, and compassionate manner. For more information visit www.JSI.com

Contact Information

  • For more information about the World Cancer Day event in Orlando
    please contact
    Thulani Cele
    012 346 7490
    082 706 2641
    thulani@jsi.co.za

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