On the 4th of February each year, the world join hands to show its support to the fight against cancer. This global event aims to save millions of unnecessary deaths that happen each year by not only helping raise the world population’s awareness and education about the disease, but also compelling governments as well as individuals across the world to take action.
This year’s global observance of the event will happen with the tagline ‘We can. I can.’ World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will continue to explore how everyone (either as a collective or as individuals) can do their part to help lessen the global burden of cancer.
In the same manner as cancer affects everyone in a number of ways, everyone has the power to take action to help in limiting the impact that this health concern may have on individuals, families as well as communities.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. Records show that at present about 8.2 million people die from cancer every year. Of this, 4 million people die prematurely—those from ages between 30 to 69 years old. Moreover, those from the low-income and medium-income countries are affected by cancer compared to those from high-resource countries. Hence, it is vital that the world is able to address the increasing cancer problems as well as work on effective control measures.
The World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, which is a response to the Charter of Paris that was adopted during the World Summit against Cancer for the New Millennium that took place on February 4, 2000. The Summit called on a strong alliance between researchers, health-care professionals, patients, governments, industry partners as well as the media to fight cancer.
It was during the Charter of Paris that February 4 was appointed as the World Cancer Day. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is responsible for coordinating World Cancer Day globally. The organization coordinates and receives support from various partners as well as organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as other international bodies. It was in 2006, the UICC organized the first World Cancer Day.
To help promote the cause, a number of symbols have been created. The pink ribbon, for instance, has been globally known as the symbol of breast cancer awareness. On the other hand, the orange ribbon is now associated with child cancer awareness. For the American Cancer Society, considers a daffodil, as a symbol of hope that people can share for a future where cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.
During the World Cancer Day, everyone including, businesses, governments as well as non-profit organizations work hand in hand to help the general public learn more about cancer—its symptoms, treatments as well as preventive measures. The activities and events may be any of the following:
- Advertisements and articles presented through different media that focus on the fight against cancer.
- Nationwide campaigns aimed raising parents’ awareness on how to help them minimize the risk of cancer within their families.
- Events aimed at raising funds for cancer research or projects that search for ways to fight cancer.
Putting up public information booths that distribute information kits, fact sheets, booklets, posters as well as other items that help encourage cancer awareness, prevention, risk reduction, as well as treatment approach.