The number of cancer cases is increasing day by day across the nation and around the world. Around 39.6% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. However, cancer survival rates are also increasing. Cancer deaths have reduced by 25% since 1991; this decrease is due to increased cancer awareness. Changes in lifestyle can lower the risk of developing cancer. Some types of cancer (like cervical cancer) are preventable by vaccines. Most people are unaware of such helpful information that can save lives. So promoting cancer awareness, especially in the workplace, can help reduce the number of cancer cases and increase the survival rate.
Here are a few examples to spread cancer awareness in the workplace:
Wear the color
A colored ribbon has symbolized Cancer awareness since 1990. Wearing a ribbon of a particular color can help people show their support for a relative, friend or loved one or may help them to discuss their cancer diagnosis with others. Undoubtedly, participating in a cancer awareness campaign by wearing a ribbon may help the people informed about cancer research and help promote funds for new treatments.
The most widely known colored ribbon is the pink ribbon which symbolizes breast cancer. You can encourage everyone in the office to wear a colored ribbon to promote awareness regarding different types of cancer.
Participate in an event
There are many campaigns promoting cancer awareness throughout the year. For example, November is No-shave November. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many organizations and foundations organize events that support fighting cancer and cancer research. You can participate in these events to promote cancer awareness as a company.
Organize a fundraiser
Many big organizations organize events to raise money for cancer research. Same way, you can also organize some events in your area. Organize an event and donate the proceeds to some cancer organization.
Set a fitness challenge
Obesity and an inactive lifestyle can cause cancer. To spread awareness, you can host a fitness challenge at work. It could be as simple as taking the stairs in place of the lift or something as challenging as a 3-kilometer run. You can start many fitness activities at your workplace to create health awareness. You can also include a one-minute plank challenge, dance or workout routine.
Distribute coupons for cancer screening
Early detection significantly improves treatment outcomes and survival rates. Certain types of cancer, like cervical cancer and breast cancer, have screening tests that help in the early detection of the disease. Your company could sponsor screening tests at a local hospital. You can also contact insurance companies or pharmacies that might want to support the screening.
Invite a cancer survivor
Most cancer patients and survivors worldwide face a social stigma due to their cancer. Cancer is considered taboo in many countries, and cancer patients face prejudice.
To break this, organize some events and invite a cancer survivor to speak. They can share their cancer journey and how they overcame the many problems they faced during treatment and recovery. This will inspire your co-workers and motivate them to stay positive and hopeful in meeting their troubles.
Invite an oncologist
You can also invite an oncologist to your workplace. The oncologist can explain the risk of developing cancer and how it can be reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle. They can advise on the most common symptoms of various cancers and how to screen for them. A Q&A session at the end of their talk might help clarify any doubts they may have.
Create art for cancer patients
You could encourage your co-workers and their families to make picture cards for cancer patients. You could include positive messages or funny drawings to cheer up the patients and their families. You could also draw on little garden pebbles, which can give away similarly.
Contribute hospital bags
Cancer patients from lower-income households often avail cancer treatment at government hospitals. You could contribute hospital bags to them as a gift. It will give them a comfortable stay during their surgery or chemotherapy. You can also put a pair of warm socks and a blanket (depending on your local climate), bottled water, some mints to help with nausea, packaged fruit juices, packets of biscuits etc.
In every area, many local bodies work with cancer patients. You and your co-workers may be interested in joining such teams of volunteers for a single event every year.
Start a smoking de-addiction campaign
Smoking is the most preventable cause of cancer. It increases the risk of not only lung cancer but also oral cancer, cervix cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and several others. Help your co-workers quit their smoking habit. You might want to involve a de-addiction counselor for best results.
Promote Healthy Eating
Healthy eating plays a very prominent role in cancer prevention. A diet high in empty calories (sugar) and low in essential nutrients might lead to several diseases, including cancer. To promote healthy eating, switch to healthier food options in the cafeteria at work. You can also take the help of a nutritionist in creating weekly meal plans for your co-workers and their families. To encourage healthier dietary habits, you can also consider providing beverages and foods rich in antioxidants, like green tea and fresh salads.
You can also connect with local and regional organizations that work in cancer care and participate in their activities. Your participation will boost the morale of cancer patients and give them the encouragement they might be looking for.
If you have cancer patients or survivors among your co-workers and their families. In that case, you can encourage them and reduce the stigma against cancer.