Ottawa, ON (February 2, 2015) February 4 is World Cancer Day, when people around the world try to raise awareness about cancer. Each year, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Inuit populations. Compared to the general population of Canada, Inuit have a higher incidence of lung, liver, oesophageal, nasopharyngeal, and salivary cancer.

Pauktuutit is developing culturally-appropriate cancer awareness tools and a toolkit to support patients, community health representatives (CHRs) and health care providers working with Inuit cancer patients. In 2014, Pauktuutit produced an Inuktitut glossary of cancer-related terms in five Inuktitut dialects to empower Inuit to be active participants in their own health care and to be able to make informed decisions about care, treatment, support and testing.

Everyone has a part to play in cancer prevention but first you must know your risks. There are things each person can do to reduce their risk for cancer including being smoke-free, more physically active, eating healthier, getting tested, limiting your alcohol intake and being safe in the sun.

Rebecca Kudloo, Pauktuutit’s President noted “It is never too early to teach your children healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of what is normal for their own bodies. We all need to know about cancer.” She continued to say that “We need to be informed about the cancer risks to our family and community.”

World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and to think what each person can do individually to prevent cancer. Have a cancer awareness activity in your community on World Cancer Day. You can do a radio show discussing the things you can do to reduce your risks for cancer or have tea and bannock to discuss screening for cancer that takes place in your community.

To read the Inuktitut glossary, please visit


Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

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