Today, 4 February is a significant day in the Cancer diary. Every year on this date the world celebrates World Cancer Day, Created in 2000; World Cancer Day has grown into a positive movement for everyone, everywhere to unite under one voice to face one of our most significant challenges in history.
By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, the global community is working together to reimagine a world. Where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved, and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equal for all – no matter who you are or where you live.
Around the world, over 10 million people die each year from cancer, in Malaysia, the annual death rate from cancer is 16,000 people. Globally more people die every year from cancer than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined, and by 2030, experts predict that cancer deaths will rise to 13 million a year if we don’t act now.
At least one-third of cancers are preventable, giving us every reason to believe that we have the best chance to prevent and reduce our cancer risks with healthy choices and prevention strategies in place for all. The prospects of significant advances in tackling cancer have never been more excellent, and international collaboration and funding are essential in realising these opportunities.
The force behind World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day was born on 4 February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
With over a thousand members from across 172 countries, the UICC is the largest and oldest international cancer organisation, dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community. Their goal is to reduce the global cancer burden, promote more significant equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.
As an organisation, they believe that access to life-saving cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care should be equal for all – no matter where you live, your income, ethnicity, or gender.
The UICC further believes that globally governments must be accountable and innovation is the key to accelerated progress. It should promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, raise awareness and mobilise the global community to make progress against cancer.
The theme for World Cancer Day 2021
The theme for World Cancer Day 2021 ‘I Am and I Will’ brings to an end a three-year campaign that has been all about getting individuals to commit to act. Through positive actions, on a global stage, the world can reach the target of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030.
‘I Am and I Will’, confirms that our actions impact everyone around us, within our neighbourhoods, communities, and cities. And that now more than ever, these actions are also being felt across borders and oceans.
This year’s World Cancer Day should serve as a reminder of the enduring power of cooperation and collective action. When collectively we choose to come together, we can achieve what we all wish for: a healthier, brighter world without cancer. Together, all of our actions matter. This World Cancer Day, who are you and what will you do to show your commitment and support for a cancer-free world?
What to expect on World Cancer Day
Each year on World Cancer Day, hundreds of activities and events occur worldwide, gathering communities, organisations and individuals in schools, businesses, hospitals, marketplaces, parks, community halls, places of worship – in the streets and online. All are acting as a potent reminder that collectively we all have a role to play in reducing cancer’s global impact.
How you can help support World Cancer Day
We appreciate that everyone supporting World Cancer Day has different needs and priorities. You can do so many things to be involved in World Cancer Day, and below are just some of the ways you can get involved because together, we can create change. However, if these are not possible, then make a personal commitment to reducing your cancer risks like quitting smoking, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and using sunscreen.
Get personal – create your very own social media message confirming your commitment and share it with the world.
Colour the world – for one day make a statement in your office, classroom, shop, factory, car and even yourself by displaying the World Cancer Day colours of Orange and Blue.
Spread the Word – Write a blog story, record a video message, feature World Cancer Day on your website, post a personal statement of support on all of your social media pages.
Join in the action – show your support by attending one of the many worldwide World Cancer Day events that are being held locally and don’t forget to invite friends and family to join you.
Create an event – invite others to join you at your own event, it doesn’t have to be a large gathering, having a few friends over for coffee, or talking to colleagues at work is enough. It’s all about sharing your knowledge with others and creating greater awareness.
Be an advocate for action – Write to your political parties asking them to show their commitment, raise public awareness and take action on this World Cancer Day.
Create a poster for your office, classroom or home – visit https://www.worldcancerday.org/custom-poster and make use of their unique poster designs.
Whoever you are – a cancer survivor, co-worker, a carer, a friend, a leader, healthcare worker, teacher or student. Get involved and help celebrate World Cancer Day and remember you have the power to take action for a cancer-free world.
About Cancer Pro
Cancer Pro is the voice of the world’s cancer physicians and oncology professionals in Malaysia and is the trusted compassionate resource for people with cancer, their families and caregivers. For more information regarding all aspects of cancer, including the various available treatments, please visit www.cancer-pro.com.