Together it is Possible

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) challenges every single South African to ask themselves: ‘What can I do about cancer?’ This World Cancer Day on 4 February, you can personally do something to change the lives of those touched by cancer.

World Cancer Day takes place every year and is the singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. World Cancer Day is an initiative of the World Health Organisation in collaboration with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), through which they aim to help save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. Globally, every month 600 000 people die from cancer and many of these deaths could be avoided with increased governmental support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programmes.

World Cancer Day 2012 has been themed ’Together it is possible’ because it’s only by every person, organisation, government individually doing their part that the world will be able to reduce premature deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases by 25 percent by 2025.

Says Sue Janse Van Rensburg, CANSA CEO, “In 2011, CANSA pledged to collect signatures for the World Cancer Day declaration for a cancer-free society, and we’re grateful that over 33 000 people signed up as part of this global fight against cancer.  World Cancer Day reminds us that every person, group and government can do their bit to help reduce the burden of cancer.”

CANSA encourages the following ways to help make a difference and help them fight cancer: 

As an individual

  • Start with yourself by making daily smart choices. Choose to stay out of the sun, don’t smoke, follow a healthy, balanced eating plan and get regular exercise;
  • Sign our petition for the banning of tanning beds for under 18 year olds -;
  • Support our ‘BPA Baby Bottle Exchange & Recycling Project’ to help keep babies safe -

It’s up to us as a nation to impress on government the urgency of recognising their national responsibility in moving South Africa towards a healthy and cancer-smart country.

As a family

Look out for one another by setting an example and educating your loved ones. Parents, replace chips and chocolates in the kids’ lunch boxes with dried fruit and whole grain foods.

Take the whole family to your local shopping centre on 3 or 4 March and take part in CANSA’s 2012 Shavathon for a R50 donation for adults and R25 for children under 12 years. Visit

As a company, organisation, club or school

Know what your rights are in terms of the tobacco law and stand up for it. Invite CANSA staff to hold talks throughout the year regarding cancer screening for your employees. Educate, inform and encourage members, scholars and employees. You can go online right now and start a donation page on CANSA’s website and start raising money for the fight against cancer.

For more information contact

Faieza De Sousa
Cancer Association of South Africa

Cancer Association of South Africa
Tel (Toll-free): 0800 22 66 22


CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R6 million spent annually), the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.

Our wide-reaching health programme includes prevention and education campaigns, CANSA Care Centres that offer stoma and lymphoedema clinics, medical equipment hire, toll-free line and support to children and their families affected by cancer. Patient care and support in the form of 13 CANSA Care Homes and the main metropolitan areas plus one hospitium (based in Polokwane) for out-of-town cancer patients as well as CANSA-TLC Lodging for paediatric oncology parents.

In 2011, CANSA…

  • Invested R6 million in cancer research;
  • Supported 13 300  individual cancer patients through our 261 support groups and our 2 300 trained caregivers;
  • Welcomed 1 800 individual patients to our 13 CANSA Care Lodges, where they were served 202 000 meals during their combined 101 000 night-stay;
  • Visited and supported an average of 48 500 patients, undergoing cancer treatment, in oncology clinics;
  • Provided specialist care to more than 5 000 stoma patients and to about 40 lymphoedema patients every month.
  • Supported people affected by cancer by providing individual counselling to 23 500 people, and made medical loan equipment available to 3 300 people;
  • Distributed 803 000 information and educational pamphlets and 10 700 posters in four languages during our awareness campaigns;

Conducted cancer screening:

  • 12 400 Pap smears and facilitated an additional  7 460 in partnership with the DOH for cervical cancer;
  • 19 600 breast examinations to detect breast lumps and facilitated an addition 4 100 in partnership with the DOH;
  • 7 500 PSA tests to detect prostate cancer;
  • 1 500 skin examinations and 309 FotoFinder examinations to check for skin cancers. 

Abnormalities were detected in approximately 4.6 percent of these cases.


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Date published: 
Tuesday, 31 January, 2012
Cancer Association of South Africa

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