World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day, 2018


A truly global event taking place every year on 4 February, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. The National Wellbeing Service supports this global event.

What is World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and unites the world under a single theme to highlight the on-going fight against cancer. World Cancer Day aims to reduce the
number of preventable deaths each year by raising cancer awareness among the general public and pressing governments to take further action against the disease.

Why World Cancer Day matters

The global cancer epidemic is enormous and is set to rise. Currently 8.8 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which 4 million are premature deaths (aged 30 to 69 years). Over the next ten years cancer deaths are projected to increase to over 14 million per year. Urgent action must be taken to raise awareness about the disease and to develop practical
strategies to address the cancer burden. Global disparities in access to prevention, treatment and palliative care are growing exponentially. With the recent adoption of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), we are entering a new era for global health. Now more than ever there is a need for a global commitment to help drive advancements in cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in low- and middle income countries (LMICs) who are tackling these epidemics with insufficient resources.

World Cancer Day is the ideal opportunity to spread the word and raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds, in the world’s media, and on the global health and development agenda.

Who is behind World Cancer Day?

UICC is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and
integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC is the largest and oldest international cancer organisation.
With over 1,000 members and 56 partners across 162 countries, UICC features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research and treatment institutes, patient groups, and industry leaders.

I can ask for support

Maintaining social support networks and talking about cancer can be important strategies for coping with the social and emotional impact of cancer, both in the short and long term. This is true for both the person living with cancer and their carer(s). Support can come from many sources – partners, friends, family, colleagues, healthcare professionals and counsellors – with some people choosing to join self-help or support groups. Support groups can provide a caring and supportive environment for people living with cancer to express their feelings and reduce anxiety and fear.

Sometimes the people at work make up another vital network of support. Talking about cancer with colleagues as well as keeping in touch with them during work absences can have a positive impact on recovery.

Cancer caregiving can also have an enormous influence on both physical and mental health. Carers – most commonly partners, family members or friends – receive little preparation, information or support to carry out their vital role. Many carers put their own needs and feelings aside to focus on the person with cancer, and as a consequence may experience emotional distress and social isolation. Recognising the challenges of looking after someone with cancer and seeking support can have wide-ranging benefits for coping and quality of life. People living with cancer and their caregivers can ask for support to help them cope with cancer.

Click here for ‘I can ask for support’ guide and references.

Further information

For more information on World Cancer Day, please visit or contact at
World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

The twitter hashtag is: #WorldCancerDay

Creative Commons License
World Cancer Day Campaign Material by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.