In a few short weeks, the international cancer community and its supporters will come together to mark World Cancer Day on 4th February. In the final year of the ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign, this year’s World Cancer Day takes on even greater importance with the call to refocus efforts on cancer control after a year challenged by the global pandemic.
COVID-19 has changed – though not deterred – many plans by UICC members, partners and organisations around the world. World Cancer Day activities have been adapted: face-to-face talks will be moved online, conferences will be organised as webinars, rallies will take place online and fundraisers, runs, and celebrations alike will be virtual.
“The pandemic revealed the enormous ability of the cancer community to adapt and unify under a crisis. This World Cancer Day more than ever underscores the need for all of us to come together as we push forward progress in 2021.”
– Dr Cary Adams, UICC CEO
Here are some examples of what UICC members, partners and the international cancer community have planned for World Cancer Day 2021:
Over the years, World Cancer Day has witnessed many countries launching their national cancer plans. In 2020, three governments – Malawi, Poland and Rwanda – used the day to launch their new national cancer control plans.
This year, the French National Institute of Cancer will be marking the Day with the official launch of their new 10-year strategy to fight cancer. For the first time, the event will be held virtually and is open to everyone.
With subjects ranging from cancer prevention and tobacco control to the impact of COVID-19, World Cancer Day will be a hub of exchange, conversations and discussions.
Cancer X will host a week of information sharing and exchange of ideas in Japan, while a joint conference by the American University Beirut Medical Centre and the King Hussein Cancer Center will bring together leading experts to tackle the challenges of the coronavirus on prevention, screening and early detection and cancer care across a full day of talks.
In Australia, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre will offer an online talk on genetic testing, Spain’s AECC will host a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals living with cancer and virtual talks organised by the Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control will dive into the topic of cancer prevention and risk reduction.
World Cancer Day offers an opportunity for many cancer organisations to engage their own communities to raise awareness, educate and encourage action.
Love Hope Strength (LHS) is hosting The Big Night In an hour-long live show with special performances by Mike Peters, Co-founder of LHS and frontman of rock band 'The Alarm'. In the lead up to the evening, the online auction of legendary music memorabilia will also be helping to raise funds to support cancer organisations around the world, including UICC members.
The Turkish Society for Radiation Oncology will host a bicycle ride in the country’s major cities. Staff, families and volunteers will wear orange bike vests and face masks while distributing balloons, oranges and information leaflets to encourage healthy eating.
The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) will host a virtual interactive awareness session on “Eliminating Cervical Cancer” with speaker Dr. Ghina Ghaziri, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. The session is dedicated to CCCL’s cancer survivors, patients and staff.
Physical activities from walks, runs, dance sessions, dragon boating and more have been a mainstay of World Cancer Day’s activities around the world. Many are being taken online through virtual and livestreamed sessions.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will host a full day of online yoga and meditation sessions, raising funds to help continue their breakthrough work in cancer research.
World Cancer Day supporters will also have the chance to get moving through a number of virtual runs including by the Pentai Jerudong Specialist Center and Les Enterprises contre le Cancer – GEFLUC.
In Uganda, awareness walks and aerobics sessions hosted by the Cancer Foundation Uganda will take place both in-person and online.
Cities, companies and organisations will be lighting up their buildings, monuments, bridges and towers in a shining show of support. Landmarks like Australia’s Old Parliament, Singapore’s National Gallery, Switzerland’s Jet d’eau and Japan’s Shiodome will be blazing in orange and blue as the sun sets on World Cancer Day.
Find out what else is happening at worldcancerday.org/map and if your organisation is planning a World Cancer Day activity, share it with us by submitting your activity.
For resources and tips on organise a successful activity on World Cancer Day, download the How to Guide: Host an event.