Thousands of Capetonians will lace up their running shoes and hit the road this World Cancer Day – Sunday, 4 February – to do their bit to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Hundreds of Capetonians, from avid runners to slow walkers, will take part in the Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk this weekend to show moral support for those impacted by cancer and help cancer organisations continue their work, says Cancercare South Africa.
Currently 8.8 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million are premature deaths (aged 30 to 69 years). Over the next ten years, cancer deaths are projected to increase to over 14 million per year and it is expected that by 2030, 21.7 million people around the world will be impacted by the disease. But in many cases, cancer can be beaten.
World Cancer Day aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths each year by raising cancer awareness among the general public. It calls for healthier cities, healthier workplaces, more support for those with cancer, and greater awareness among everyone of the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of cancer.
Cancercare, the leading provider of holistic cancer care in South Africa, is supporting efforts to raise cancer awareness and combat cancer this World Cancer Day, with its support of the annual Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk.
Dr. Greg Hart, oncologist at Cancercare’s Rondebosch Oncology Centre, will also be taking part in the event on Sunday. “Events like this are important in spreading the message far and wide, encouraging people to embrace healthy living and showing support for those with cancer,” he says.
“The Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk grows bigger each year. It’s a very well-attended, uplifting event, with participants including cancer survivors, people commemorating the lives of loved ones who have died of cancer, caregivers, a smattering of medical professionals, and members of the public who want to raise cancer awareness and just embrace a healthier lifestyle,” he says.
While raising cancer awareness and supporting efforts to fight cancer are vitally important, Dr. Hart notes that events such as the Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk also play an important role in encouraging people to get more exercise. “Exercise, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, can help reduce people’s risk of developing certain cancers. Importantly, exercise and healthy living also supports the recovery process among cancer patients – elevating their mood and improving their state of mind. Some cancer patients and survivors receive treatment that could contribute to weight gain and osteoporosis, so regular exercise supports their recovery. And should fit, otherwise healthy people develop cancer, they are likely to cope better with treatment and improve their chances of a better outcome.”
The Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk presents a great opportunity for Capetonians to get a head start on a healthier lifestyle, and show support for cancer patients and survivors at the same time, says Dr. Hart. “Most of the guidelines recommend regular exercise three or four times a week, depending on your age and level of fitness. For those just beginning to live a healthier lifestyle, the 5km Lace Up for Cancer Fun Walk is a good way to start.”
And while they enjoy the benefits of a morning of exercise, Dr. Hart urges participants to also remember the key messages of World Cancer Day: many cancers are treatable, and they are always more treatable if detected early. Everyone should make an effort to get screened for cancer, and report worrying symptoms to their GPs – the sooner, the better.
Race organisers report there has been phenomenal support for the Lace Up for Cancer Fun Run/Walk this year. This popular event, setting off from the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, will see thousands of people walking or running a 5km or 10km route to support cancer organisations, and to show support for those who have lost their loved ones or fought against cancer. Entrants are invited to wear their craziest outfits, spot prizes will be up for grabs, and the first 5,000 finishers will get coloured laces. What’s more, those who don’t litter and return their water bottles will receive medals.
The event will also feature a mini expo, where all the race beneficiaries will highlight the excellent work they do and showcase how the money being raised in the event will help strengthen their cause.
Lace Up for Cancer is presented by Cancercare in association with the HPCA Hospice Palliative Care Association, People Living With Cancer, Love your Nuts – which raises awareness about testicular cancer, Cancer Alliance, CHOC – supporting children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, The Sunflower Fund, CANSA and the Cancer Association of South Africa. For more information, contact Webtickets Support 086 111 0005 or see https://www.facebook.com/laceupforcancer/