DUBAI: The leading cancer prevention civil society organisation Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) launched the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)’s three-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign on World Cancer Day on Monday to increase “public-facing exposure and engagement” to inspire the change that is required to build a cancer-free future for the world.

In line with the fourth annual Gulf Cancer Awareness Campaign, FOCP is also holding a series of awareness activities and programmes till February 7 in Sharjah to foster greater public awareness about cancer, with an emphasis on the importance of early detection.

The weeklong awareness activities are following the campaign’s theme ‘40% protection 40% cure’, launched by the Gulf Union for Cancer Control (GUCC) in 2016, to raise awareness about all types of cancer on World Cancer Day. They include social media awareness campaigns to spark conversations and inspire action on all fronts,

These will cover topics like the importance of healthy lifestyles and overall wellness, and focus on factual information people need to educate themselves with to steer clear of cancer risks, and create awareness around them. FOCP also conducted a fun cooking workshop for cancer survivors and patients.

The rationale for the ‘40% protection 40% cure’ is to highlight the findings of scientific studies and research released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which confirmed that 40 per cent of cancers be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles represented by healthy eating habits, regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight. The report also underlined that another 40 per cent of cancers are curable if diagnosed early and receive timely treatment.

Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director general of FOCP, said: “To mark this important day, we teamed up with our supporters to have our voice heard and emphasise the importance of cancer awareness on World Cancer Day. Educating people on the issue by increasing interaction and empowering people to take action, will help reduce the myth associated with cancer and offer us all a chance to create a long-lasting impact in our fight against cancer.”

The ‘I Am and I Will’ video released by FOCP features female and male government representatives, restaurant chefs, children’s books authors and media professionals pledging to engage children and adults in awareness activities, spreading hope and supporting cancer patients. In doing so, the campaign recognises the power of people’s voices to make a positive impact.