AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Saturday, February 4 is World Cancer Day. It’s a day created to encourage people to get educated about the various forms of cancer affecting people worldwide.
Friday, at Augusta University Medical Center, people got the chance to learn about ways to reduce their cancer risk.
“World Cancer Day’s theme this year, as well as next year, is to close the care gap and what that means is that we want to raise awareness about cancer but also call attention to the disproportionate burden of cancer in different populations and different groups,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Christine O’Meara.
The hospital put up a display so people would have easy access to the information.
“Cancer never sleeps. Cancer continues worldwide. It is the leading cause of death and forty percent or more of cancers can be prevented and we have partnered with the World Cancer Day Organization to make information and materials available in English and Spanish,” said O’Meara.
“We always love when people stop by. Cancer can be a scary word for folks, but the truth is that everybody knows someone who’s had cancer, or they’ve experienced it themselves and information really is power. So, we want to give people the information so they can make informed decisions themselves,” said Maryclaire Regan, the Community Program Coordinator for the Georgia Cancer Center.
Quita Gibson is a cervical cancer survivor who’s goal now is to bring awareness about getting tested.
“I was diagnosed at the age of thirty, I get regular paps every year for my birthday, so I’m used to the routine of coming in, having my pap, going home, getting a postcard, see you next year. That year, unfortunately, I got a call back when I got back to my office to come back over and when I got in the doctor said they see cancer cells and we need to move forward. At 30, that’s devastating, but the faculty and staff… they were very prompt with moving forward and getting biopsy treatment, stuff like that done. The cancer center was very supportive. The support group was very supportive. Just my support system, my family and friends, we got through it,” said Gibson.
Quita holds an annual summit to raise awareness about cervical cancer.
“A lot of people don’t talk about it because of the stigma behind it with sex, so you don’t hear a lot about cervical cancer because of that, but I try to raise awareness because young women, once they’re sexually active, there’s a vaccination, you have HPV it’s important to start getting that, some states are requiring it, not all states but it’s important that parents learn about this vaccination,” said Gibson.
World Cancer day is all about getting the information out there to the public and if you need info after that day, you can go to the Georgia Cancer Center’s website.