World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on February 4. It is a global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of a group of cells in the body. It can occur at any age and if not detected at the right time and is not treated, it can increase the risk of death.
To raise the awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, World Cancer Day is observed annually on February 4 as an international event. Since its inception, World Cancer Day has been observed keeping in mind certain themes that would guide the agenda of the celebrations and campaigns. In 2019, the theme ‘I Am and I Will’ was introduced and was to be carried on till 2021. This multi-year campaign has been focused on the community as a whole and the actions that each individual can take towards reducing the global impact of cancer. According to the World Cancer Day website, the primary goal is to focus on positive actions in order to reach the ‘target of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer and noncommunicable diseases by 1/3 by 2030’.
World Cancer Day originated in 2000 at the first World Summit Against Cancer, which was held in Paris. The Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer.