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WORLD CANCER DAY

by Julie Kempson, Feb 2020

Every year on the 4th February, World Cancer Day is celebrated.  The aim of the day is to raise awareness about the disease cancer, to encourage prevention, to explain how to detect it and what treatments there are available and to generally educate people about this frightening disease.

HISTORY OF WORLD CANCER DAY

World Cancer day was established on 4 February 2000 at the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the new Millenium, which was held in Paris.  The day is lead by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration which were written in 2008

PRIMARY GOAL OF THE DAY

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and can occur anywhere in the body.  The primary goal of World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by this disease.  The day is used to target misinformation, raise awareness and reduce stigma.

EVENTS AND THEMES

Hundreds of events take place around the world today, along with multiple initiatives such as #NoHairSelfie which is a global movement where “hairticipants” shave their heads, either physically or virtually as a symbol of support and courage to those undergoing cancer treatments.   These images are then shared via social media all over the world.

The current theme for 2019 – 2021 is “I Am and I Will” the purpose being to counter the negative attitude that nothing can be done about cancer.  It aims to promote how our own personal actions can be both powerful and impactful.

Past themes include:

 2016 – 2018 “We Can. I Can”

2015 “Not Beyond Us”

2014 – Debunk the Myths

World Cancer Day is supported by the United Nations.

For more information go to the World Cancer Day official website by clicking here and find out how you can support the day