Today we will talk about World Cancer Day which is an international day marked on 4 February. This day aims 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 the disease. World Cancer Day targets misinformation, raises awareness and reduces stigma.
There are multiple initiatives such as #NoHairSelfie, a global movement that motivates people to shave their heads or to use online avatars with no hair or shaved heads, showing support to those undergoing cancer treatments.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the largest organisation that fights cancer and spreads awareness throughout the entire planet. They are rapidly increasing their membership base of over 1,100 organisations in more than 170 countries representing the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health and patient groups, including influential policy makers, researchers and experts in cancer prevention and control.
Why World Cancer Day matters
Cancer is one of the world’s leading killer diseases. In the year 2019, cancer claimed 9.6 million lives and the UICC predict that by 2030 the number of deaths will increase to 13.2 million per year. Many of these deaths can be avoided with increased governmental support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programmes.
Sadly, the greatest increase in cancer is projected to hit low and middle-income countries, those least equipped to cope with the social and economic impact of the disease.
There is an urgent need for action to raise awareness of the disease and to develop practical strategies to reduce the burden of cancer. World Cancer Day is the perfect opportunity to spread the word and create a global awareness of the disease in international media and global health and development programmes.