Submitted by Luis Placencia, Marketing Associate
Cancer will likely have an influence on all of us during our lifetimes. As a result, World Cancer Day, observed on February 4, is a significant day for raising awareness about cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day events, launched in 2008 by the Union for International Cancer Control, aim to dramatically reduce cancer-related sickness and mortality by 2020.
Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality globally, according to the World Health Organization. In 1993, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) was founded. It is a membership-based organization located in Geneva dedicated to the global elimination of cancer and the advancement of medical research. In the same year, the inaugural International Cancer Day was held in Geneva, Switzerland, under its auspices. This project was also backed by several well-known organizations, cancer societies, and treatment institutes.
World Cancer Day was established during the inaugural World Cancer Summit in 2000. Members of cancer groups and significant political officials from throughout the world attended the event in Paris. A treaty dubbed the ‘Charter of Paris Against Cancer’ was made up of ten articles and signed, indicating a global commitment to improving cancer patients’ facilitation and quality of life. Progress and greater investment in cancer research, prevention, and treatment were also recognized. This charter’s Article X formally recognized February 4 as World Cancer Day.
Because there are many different forms of cancer, different colors and symbols are used to identify and support the battle against each one. The orange ribbon, for example, is used to raise cancer awareness among youngsters and the pink ribbon relates to breast cancer awareness worldwide. The American Cancer Society uses the daffodil blossom as a symbol of hope for patients and survivors, envisioning a world without this life-threatening disease.
Every year on this day, hundreds of events and fundraisers are held around the world to bring individuals, communities, and organizations together in hospitals, schools, businesses, markets, community halls, parks, and other locations to campaign and deliver the powerful reminder that those affected by cancer are not alone, and we all share a responsibility in reducing the global impact of this disease.
Because cancer affects so many, the theme for World Cancer Day from 2020-2024 is Close the Care Gap.
Why is cancer such an important topic?
- 10 million people die each year from cancer.
- That is greater than the combined totals for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB.
- If we do not act, cancer deaths are expected to soar to 13 million by 2030.
What happens when we act?
- More than one-third of all cancer cases are preventable. Another third of cases can be cured if they are found early and treated correctly.
- We can save millions of lives each year by implementing resource-appropriate preventive, early diagnosis, and treatment techniques.
- We now understand more about cancer than ever before.
- We have seen tremendous advances in medicine, diagnostics, and scientific understanding as a result of our investments in research and innovation. The more we know, the more progress we can make in reducing risk factors, increasing prevention, and improving cancer diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and care.
- The United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other UN organizations have acknowledged the urgent need for worldwide commitment in recent years.
- When leaders stand up and take action, we offer ourselves an opportunity to make history and advance towards a cancer-free future.
- Today, more than half (65%) of cancer fatalities occur in the world’s least developed countries. Even if you reside in a higher-income nation, there are still discrepancies among lower-income, Indigenous, immigrant, refugee, and rural populations.
- Access to equitable cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care can save lives.
- We minimize fear, promote comprehension, debunk myths and misconceptions, and influence behaviors and attitudes through increasing public and political literacy and awareness of cancer.