World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
Taking place under the tagline ‘We can. I can.’, World Cancer Day (February 4th, 2016) will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities.
World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.
“World Cancer Day is very significant for us as we convey to the world our message of Commitment, Love, Strength and Hope to prevent and cure cancer, and relieve the pain when the battle is lost not before fighting it very hard.”
Manuel Maldonado Rodriguez – Liga Contra el Cáncer, Honduras
Cancer will kill more than eight million people worldwide this year, which is equivalent to the entire population of New York. Half of these will be people of working age (30-69 years old).
It has been estimated that the cost implications on world economies caused by cancer and the other non-communicable diseases (including mental health) could be as high as USD47 trillion if no action is taken to reduce the anticipated growth in cases over the next two decades. This is a greater economic impact than the global financial crisis of 2008 and represents 75% of global GDP.
Today on World Cancer Day 2016 (Thursday 4 February), the world unites against this disease that knows no borders and represents one of humanity’s most pressing and financial concerns.
Under the campaign theme ‘We can. I can.’ World Cancer Day represents a unique opportunity to draw attention to what can be done to address cancer, save millions of avoidable deaths and, in turn, support global economic growth and development.
‘We can’: Today, the world’s leading international cancer NGO, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), urges corporations to focus their business on products and services that improve public health.
Moreover, UICC is asking governments to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the following cost-effective cancer ‘essentials’ package that save lives:
- Implementation of vaccination programmes which prevent infections that cause cervical and liver cancer
- Scale up of access to early detection and screening programmes for cervical, breast and bowel cancers and follow-on treatment
- Improved tobacco taxation, regulation and control
- As well, as pain relief and palliative care services for all cancer patients.
“Preventing millions of unnecessary deaths and suffering from cancer is not outside of the world’s scientific or financial capabilities,” said Dr Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, UICC.
“It will however require collaborative action at both individual and collective levels – spearheaded by key leaders in society. Governments have made global commitments to priority actions for addressing cancer, we now need to see these converted to national investments in treatment centres, services and skilled health workers, as well as health promotion. Employers can play a crucial role also by investing in the well-being of their workplace and the wider environment which they impact,” he added.
‘I can’: With more than a third of all cancers (up to 4.5 million per year) preventable through lifestyle interventions, UICC also calls on individuals to take responsibility for reducing their own cancer risk. Simple measures such as stopping smoking, eating less red and processed meat, exercising regularly and reducing alcohol use can extend a healthy life, and must be seen as the first-line of defence against cancer and other associated non-communicable diseases.
“On World Cancer Day, we have an opportunity to collectively examine cancer control strategies to identify winning formulas that will accelerate progress. The goal for all of us is to ensure fewer people develop cancer, more people are successfully treated and that there is a better quality of life for people during treatment and beyond.”
Heather Bryant, VP, Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
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