World Cancer Day initiative at New York-based start-up features survivor stories to raise prevention awareness

Today is World Cancer Day, a day dedicated to increasing public awareness of cancer and dispelling misconceptions about the illness. Fitango, a collaborative e-Health platform, is showcasing the voices of cancer survivors, and encourages people to spend this day learning about prevention and speaking about their experiences with cancer.

Even those who are currently cancer-free can benefit from raising their awareness and committing to lifestyle changes on World Cancer Day, says Vanessa Von der Muhll of the Union for International Cancer Control. Simple prevention tactics such as not smoking, drinking moderately, protecting your skin from the sun, and getting vaccinated for HPV and Hepatitis B can make a huge impact.

“Cancer will touch us all at some point in our lives,” says Von der Muhll. “But what a lot of people don’t realize is that 1 in 3 cancer cases can actually be prevented. So on World Cancer Day, UICC urges everyone to make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their cancer risk and that of their loved ones.”

To jump-start the conversation, Fitango is publishing the stories of cancer survivors Andrea Leonard and Shiri Rahamim.

Rahamim is a 29-year-old woman who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012. In her moving essay, “I Did Not Choose Cancer,” she shares the ways in which her painful fight with cancer has led her to appreciate her life and loved ones.

“I choose to learn the lessons that cancer teaches us in its own way,” Rahamim writes. “I choose to apply those lessons to my life. I choose to live. I choose life. I choose to be. I choose to seize the moment and enjoy it.”

Another brave cancer survivor, Andrea Leonard, founded the Cancer Exercise Training Institute, which trains fitness professionals to meet the workout needs of those who are recovering from cancer. Leonard was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 18. Her mother and father were also diagnosed with cancer. Leonard believes that exercise is essential for cancer survivors to reclaim their bodies and their lives.

“As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” says Leonard. “If that’s true, my mother and other cancer survivors out there must be the likes of Hercules!”

Fitango invites the online community to follow the lead of these two inspirational women by sharing their own experiences with cancer on the site’s cancer community board. Fitango’s free cancer e-journal, debuting on World Cancer Day, is designed to help people with cancer track their treatments and symptoms on a daily basis. Users can journal their way through the complicated emotions that can accompany a cancer diagnosis. People using this journal will have the option to share it with their friends and family in order to receive additional support in their battle with the disease.

“Fitango’s platform is focused on prevention and social support,” says CEO Dov Biran. “By helping people to track their symptoms and improve their lives, we aim to make them active partners in their own health care. We recognize that no-one understands cancer as well as someone who has lived with the illness, and we’re proud to offer cancer survivors an opportunity to share their stories and insights through our site.”

Fitango offers hundreds of Actionplans on its site for people striving to meet their health and wellness goals or manage chronic conditions. By spotlighting the voices of cancer survivors on World Cancer Day, Fitango continues its mission to revolutionize the way Americans manage their health.


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