Two-thirds of the public do not believe that cancer is an unstoppable, unpreventable disease, according to a new survey by the Israel Cancer Association. The survey, conducted among 500 adults, found that only 23 percent of the general public believe that one cannot avoid getting cancer and that "fate" was responsible for getting the disease.
The survey was conducted before the ICA's Knock on the Door campaign, to be held nest Monday. Tens of thousands of schoolchildren and other volunteers will represent the ICA by aiming to collect NIS 10 million for early detection, treatment, research, education and social projects to win the war against cancer.
ICA's experts say that 65% of deaths from cancer can be prevented through measures such as not smoking, avoiding exposure to the sun, maintaining normal weight, exercising, eating fruits and vegetables regularly and going for screening at appropriate ages.
There are 120,000 Israeli cancer patients who have been cured, are in remission or are being treated; every year, another 23,500 patients are diagnosed.
Yisrael Makov, the managing director of Teva Pharmaceuticals, is the head of this year's ICA campaign. Teva has donated NIS 1m. toward research grants for young Israeli scientists in the field of cancer. Makov called on other businesses to do their share and donate money to fight the disease, as the ICA does not receive any government funding.
Donations will go to a wide variety of purposes, including basic research to improve cancer treatments, short-term allowances to newly diagnosed patients who are in need, help to children who need to catch up with their studies after treatment, summer camps for young cancer victims and their families, the establishment of oncology centers in hospitals, the employment of nurses and social workers to assist patients.
ICA chairman Prof. Eliezer Robinson urged the public to reduce their cancer risk by avoiding tobacco, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, checking for changes in the skin, getting advice from experts if you have a family history of genetically linked cancers, and being aware of changes in your body's appearance or behavior, such as bleeding when urinating or defecating, unexplained weight loss, lumps, wounds that do not heal, and chronic coughing, hoarseness, heartburn or difficulty swallowing.