World cancer day

World Cancer Day

Basic Information about World Cancer Day

Every year February 4 is observed as World Cancer Day to raise awareness and education about cancer and encourage prevention, detection and treatment.


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Observed on: February 4

Organized by: UICC, WHO, IARC

Observed: Worldwide


About World Cancer Day

World cancer day is celebrating all over the world on every February 4. This is founded and organized by UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) with the support of WHO (World Health Organization) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer.

This day is celebrated to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. It supports the goals of world cancer declaration. This day is also observed to raise the collective voices for improving the knowledge around cancer and dismiss the misconceptions about the disease.

The day is celebrated with an aim to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against disease.


About UICC

UICC is an organization fighting against cancer. It unites the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

UICC is a large organization with 800+ member organizations across 155 countries. The World Cancer Day 2014 was observed across the world with its focus on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline Debunk the myths.


What is cancer? And Some Facts

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. There is a myth that all cancers are not curable and not preventable. Some cancers are occurring due to use of drugs like tobacco and similar products. Avoiding usage of such product can reduce the chance of becoming cancer patient. It is also to understand that some types of cancers can be curable by surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy. It is also important to detect it as early as possible to cure it.

IARC has released a World Cancer Report 2014 in collaboration of 250 leading scientists from more than 40 countries, describing multiple aspects of cancer research and control.

Some shocking facts about cancer are:

  1. It estimated about 8.2 million deaths from cancer in 2012.
  2. Over four years, the globalcancer incidence has increased by 11 percent to an estimated 14.1 million cases in 2012.
  3. Cancer cases worldwide are forecast to rise by 75% and reach close to 25 million over the next two decades.
  4. Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
  5. About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
  6. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22% of global cancer deaths and 71% of global lung cancer deaths.
  7. Cancer causing viral infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 20% of cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries.

Activities and Programs on World Cancer Day

The World Cancer Declaration modified on 2013 calls upon government leaders and health policy-makers to significantly reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

UICC organize programs on world cancer day to:

  1. Developtargets and indicators to measure the implementation of policies and approaches to prevent and control cancer.
  2. Raise the priority accorded to cancer in the global development agenda
  3. Promote a global response to cancer

Digital, traditional and social media campaigns are done to raise public awareness of the day and spread its message to many people. With its vast member base UICC is able to spread its message by celebrating the day across the world and also able to spread the objectives to celebrate the world.

Cancer screening programs are conducted to detect the cancer at the earlier stage itself and increase the chance of cure. Awareness programs are conducted against modifiable risk factors which can cause cancer.

UICC encourages its member organizations to run local cancer awareness campaigns that spread the message of World Cancer Day on every occasion.


Theme for World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day 2021 Theme: “I am and I will

World Cancer Day 2020 Theme: “I am and I will

World Cancer Day 2019 Theme was “I am and I will

2018 Theme: We can. I can

2017 Theme: We can. I can

2016 Theme: We can. I can

2015 Theme: Not beyond us

2014 Theme: Together it is possible. Tagline “Debunk the myths”

2013 Theme: Dispel damaging Myths and misconceptions about cancer. Tagline “Cancer – Did you know?”

2012 Theme: Together it is possible throughout: World.

2011 Theme: teach children and teenagers to avoid UV exposure by being “sun smart”

2010 Theme: learn about vaccines against viruses that cause cancers.

2009 Theme: encourage an energy-balanced lifestyle based on healthy diet and physical activity.

2008 Theme: give children and young people a smoke-free environment.

2007 Theme: Today’s children, tomorrow’s world


Click here for List of Important Days or UN Observations

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