World Cancer Day – I am and I will

Collective Action: A Powerful Tool Against Cancer

17 January 2019

James Campbell, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Business Franchise Oncology 


In the last few decades, there have been huge strides in understanding cancer, and with this knowledge, we can advance further towards our goal of improving cancer diagnosis, prevention and care.

Yet despite the progress made, cancer remains one of the world’s greatest healthcare challenges, responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018  alone.1 It is therefore vital that with factors such as positive lifestyle choices,1 public health measures (e.g. vaccinations)2 and early diagnosis and treatment,3 all leading to an increased chance of people with cancer living longer, we continue to focus on improving global awareness and empowering patients to make informed choices about their health.

At Merck, we want to play our part in the fight against cancer and recognise that every positive action – however small it may seem – can have a profound collective impact on the lives of people affected. That is why we are proud to join the wider community on World Cancer Day on 4 February, celebrating UICC’s ‘I Am and I Will’ theme. This year, my colleagues and I will be sharing our own personal pledges for this World Cancer Day 2019 as we consider how ‘I Am. I Will #TransformCancerCare’.

"Collaboration with partners such as the UICC is vital as we work towards achieving the shared goal of improving the lives and the outlook for people affected by cancer, including research, access to treatment and support services available. When it comes to beating cancer, the adage that ‘We are stronger together’ really does stand true."

Having worked in oncology for well over a decade, I find it hugely encouraging to see some of the world’s brightest minds and most compassionate people team up to bring transformative treatments and care to people with cancer. The hope, and most definitely the goal, is that for those diagnosed, the outlook will only get better.

Join us on 4 February and make a personal pledge to reduce the impact of cancer, for yourself and for others. Whether it’s raising awareness of symptoms among friends and family, adopting a healthier lifestyle, advocating for better services or simply offering a helping hand or sympathetic ear to those going through cancer, we can all help make a difference.

What’s your pledge to #TransformCancerCare? Contribute Your Voice to World Cancer Day 2019


  1. WHO. Cancer. Available from: Last accessed: January 2019
  2. Key Issues: Prevention and Risk Reduction. Available from: Last accessed: January 2019
  3. Why Cancer. Available from: Last accessed: January 2019

About the author

James Campbell is the Head of Business Franchise Oncology at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Last update: 
Friday 7 June 2019