Every day around Australia, 350 people are told they have a life-threatening cancer, and sadly, more than 115 people will die of the disease.
Cancer has a profound social impact on Australians, that’s why the Cancer Council is urging people to show they care about beating cancer by wearing a daffodil pin on Daffodil Day.
Why the daffodil?
The daffodil was chosen by the Cancer Council as they believe its reputation as a hardy annual flower, pushing its way through the frozen earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth serves as a symbol of hope for all affected by cancer.
This year a number of celebrities who have been affected by the disease, both directly and indirectly, have been chosen as ambassadors to spread Daffodil Day’s message of hope for cancer patients.
One of these ambassadors, actress Marta Dusseldorp, knows the emotional impact a cancer diagnosis has on a family
“I was eight years old when my brother was born. My mother’s instinct was that something was wrong. He was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia,” she said.
Marta now wears a daffodil pin to honour the legacy of her brother.
“The more money that’s raised, the more research can be done. More and more children are surviving and that’s not going to stop, that’s only going to get better,” she said.
Indeed, the half a billion dollars raised for cancer research since Daffodil Day’s conception in 1986 has significantly helped improve survival rates among cancer patients. The survival rate for many common cancers has increased by 30 percent in the last 20 years, with more than 60 percent of cancer patients surviving more than five years after the diagnosis.
However, with the number of new cancer diagnoses set to rise to 150,000 by 2020, Cancer Council spokesperson Silke Nixon said there is much more work to do to reduce the profound impact of cancer.
“As our population is growing and aging, the number of people diagnosed with cancer also increases. The funds raised through Daffodil Day will allow us to continue our research and support efforts for those affected by cancer.”
What causes cancer?
While there’s no one cause of cancer, many types of the disease are becoming increasingly linked to certain lifestyle choices including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and diet.
Lifestyle risk factors:
- One in nine cancers, and one in five cancer deaths, are linked to smoking
- Between 1.9 – 5.8% of cancers are related to alcohol use
- Bowel cancer has been found to be related to poor diet and is one of the leading causes of death in Australia.
In addition to lifestyle choices, a genetic predisposition to cancer is another risk factor. Despite these risks, a number of perfectly healthy people still get diagnosed with cancer every year, making the disease somewhat of a mystery in these cases. This is why further cancer research is vital to discover the exact cause of the disease, as well as improving life expectancy for people already suffering.
How can you help?
There are many ways to show you care about beating cancer. In addition to the popular daffodil pins, there will be a selection of Daffodil Day items to purchase, including fresh daffodils and Dougal the Daffodil Day bear, at over 1,200 Daffodil Day sites such as train stations, street stalls and shopping centres.
To find out more ways you can help, please go to the Daffodil Day website.