The strength of World Cancer Day in 2020: Impact Report released

23 March 2020

This World Cancer Day was particularly significant. It marked a historical 20 years of World Cancer Day. It also represented a pivotal moment: the start of a new decade of cancer control efforts around the world. 

To coincide with World Cancer Day, three agenda- and priority-setting publications by UICC, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer  were released as global health organisations looked towards stepping up efforts to control the global cancer burden over the next 10 years. 

This, as well as other highlights of the day are included in the annual World Cancer Day Impact Report published today. The report shows the visible support and enthusiasm for the day, spotlighting contributions by leaders, cities, businesses, individuals, partners, health professionals and the international cancer community to the second year of the ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. 

The power of World Cancer Day as a platform to raise worldwide awareness of cancer became even more evident this year. Amid news of the emerging COVID-19 (the Coronavirus disease) in the weeks leading up to and during World Cancer Day, world and health leaders, the media and the general public continued to show their support and commitment, signalling the critical importance of cancer as a global health issue. 

This energy may prove invaluable in the coming weeks and months as the international cancer community becomes even more challenged with the coronavirus pandemic as it poises to overwhelm health systems and limit the ability of people living with cancer to access quality and timely treatment and care.     

What this year revealed is the strength and importance of World Cancer Day in encouraging important conversations on a difficult and complex subject like cancer, increasing public understanding of its wider impact on people living with cancer and the value of leadership and action in addressing the disease, which is necessary and needed now more than ever. 

Highlights from the report:  

  • The official hashtag #WorldCancerDay trended around the world on Twitter 
  • Over half a million unique visitors explored the official World Cancer Day website
  • At least 65 government leaders engaged and 52 cities joined in by illuminating significant landmarks
  • Close to 1,000 events took place in over 100 countries 
  • Nearly 15,000 press articles and broadcasts recognised the day 

About World Cancer Day 

World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the uniting global initiative under which the world comes together to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Spearheaded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and improving education about the disease while calling for action from governments and individuals across the world.

World Cancer Day 2020 will be led by the theme ‘I Am and I Will’, an empowering call for personal commitment and represents the power of our actions taken now to reduce the growing impact of cancer.

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Last update: 
Thursday 9 April 2020