World Cancer Day on 4 February will see the world celebrate the new UICC-led campaign aimed at uniting individuals, organisations and governments around the world in an effort to create awareness and help close the gap in cancer care.
The campaign highlights the significant barriers related to socioeconomic factors, stigma and discrimination that prevent many people around the world from accessing life-saving preventive services, diagnostics, treatment and care. These barriers lead to wide discrepancies in the risks of developing and surviving cancer.
“By 2030, it is estimated that 75% of all premature deaths due to cancer will occur in low- and middle-income countries. Importantly, this care gap is not only between high- and low-resource settings. Disparities exist within most countries among different populations due to discrimination or assumptions that encompass age, cultural contexts, gender norms, sexual orientation, ethnicity, income, education levels and lifestyle issues. These factors potentially reduce a person’s chance of surviving cancer – and they can and must be addressed.”
– Prof. Anil d’Cruz, President of the Union for International Cancer Control, Director of Oncology at Apollo Hospitals, India
World Cancer Day Live will be broadcast starting at 9am Central European Time (find your local time here), with events every half-hour over 11 hours. World Cancer Day Live can be viewed on the homepage of the World Cancer Day website, as well as on the UICC and World Cancer Day Facebook pages and Youtube channels:
Experts from different regions will provide insight into how to design cancer control policies and engage communities to reduce disparities in cancer care – for indigenous populations in New Zealand, black men in the US, older adults and underserved populations in Pakistan, Morocco, Kenya, Latin America and Southeastern Europe.
You will hear from people who have been affected by cancer, such as Lebanese author Raquel Bahnam, Spanish tennis pro Carla Suarez, Olympic gold medallist and marathon champion Paul Radcliffe. You will also learn about the importance of nutrition during and after cancer as well as engaging in physical activity when battling cancer, a yoga session to unwind and a poetry reading.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened health inequities and created an even greater need for action to mitigate the adverse impact on cancer incidence and survival. Understanding and addressing the social determinants of health and their impact on cancer can considerably improve outcomes for at-risk populations, particularly for cancers that can be more easily detected and treated such as cervical, breast, colorectal and childhood cancers.”
– Dr Miriam Mutebi, Member of the Board, Union for International Cancer Control and Consultant Breast Surgical Oncologist, Clinical epidemiologist and health systems researcher, Aga Khan University Hospital, Kenya
Efficient and widely accessible cancer services will save countless individuals from a premature and often painful death. Greater equity in health care will also strengthen families and communities, benefit the economy with greater workforce participation and offer net savings to health budgets.
The campaign website for World Cancer Day provides extensive detail on the different barriers people are experiencing in accessing care, how this affects prevention, treatment, survival and support, and offers examples of actions that governments, organisations and individuals around the world can take to close the gap in cancer care.
“As individuals, as communities, we can and must come together and break down barriers. We have achieved a lot in the last decade in cancer care and control around the world but not addressing inequities in society is slowing our progress. Closing the care gap is about fairness, dignity and fundamental rights to allow everyone to lead longer lives in better health.”
– Dr Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control