Written by Kim Cordell | Product Development Administrator, European Medical Journal | @EMJ_Kim
This July, EMJ has proudly showcased its support for Sarcoma Awareness Week and World Hepatitis Day.
Held between the 2nd–8th July this year and organised by Sarcoma UK, the bone and soft tissue cancer charity, the focus of this year’s Sarcoma Awareness Week was to increase awareness of sarcoma as a form of cancer, showing people that it isn’t as rare as they may have previously thought.
Data collated across the UK was released as part of this awareness week, showing that >5,300 people are being diagnosed with the disease each year; this is much higher than the previous estimation of 3,800 people.1
Sarcoma is cancer of the bone and soft tissue and, while there have been more and more breakthroughs in sarcoma research in recent years, the fact that it can develop anywhere in the body means it remains difficult to diagnose; furthermore, with >100 subtypes of the disease with low incidence, understanding sarcoma is difficult.1
Sarah McDonald, Acting Chief Executive of Sarcoma UK, stated: “It’s time to take sarcoma seriously. For the first time in years, we have a fuller, more current picture of how sarcoma is affecting the UK population.”1 Urging the public to make themselves aware of the condition, Sarcoma UK states: “If more people knew what sarcoma was, they would get that lump checked out earlier. If more GPs knew more about the signs of sarcoma, they could refer people earlier. The earlier sarcoma is diagnosed, the greater the chance of successful treatment.”2
World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28th each year, with the aim of raising global awareness of hepatitis, and encouraging prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Shining the light on the ‘missing millions’,3 this year’s World Hepatitis Day urged everybody around the globe to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, a disease that an estimated global figure of 300 million people are currently living with undiagnosed.
Used to describe inflammation of the liver, hepatitis typically occurs because of a viral infection or liver damage caused by drinking alcohol. There are several different types of the disease: hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Whilst some of these won’t cause serious problems, others may be chronic and cause liver cirrhosis, loss of liver function, and in some instances, liver cancer.4 With the World Hepatitis Day campaign stating that “Viral hepatitis is one of the biggest global health threats of our time”,3 the public are urged to make themselves aware of the symptoms of hepatitis and get themselves checked if they think they are at risk.
- Sarcoma UK. ‘It’s time to take sarcoma seriously.’ New data suggests that sarcoma is not as rare as we thought. Available at: https://sarcoma.org.uk/news/2018/06/its-time-take-sarcoma-seriously-new-data-suggests-sarcoma-not-rare-we-thought Last accessed: 11 July 2018.
- Sarcoma UK. Sarcoma Awareness Week 2-8 July 2018: Sarcoma is Cancer. Available at: https://sarcoma.org.uk/get-involved/sarcoma-awareness-week-2-8-july-2018-sarcoma-cancer. Last accessed: 11 July 2018.
- World Hepatitis Day. Available at: http://www.worldhepatitisday.org/. Last accessed: 11 July 2018.
- NHS choices. Hepatitis. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hepatitis/. Last accessed: 11 July 2018.