World Cancer Day - A successful campaign!

From Dr Benjamin O. Anderson, member of the UICC Board of Directors and Chair of the Membership Committee

We were very pleased to observe the active participation of our members to mark this day. There were many original and interactive activities that took place, such as a fashion show, a zumba flash mob, videos focusing on people's perception of cancer, as well as dedicated websites and online quizzes dealing with cancer myths and misconceptions. There were also high-level meetings, national and local campaigns, and many regionally adapted press releases. This represents a very small sample of all the actions that were taken on World Cancer Day 2013, but still, showcases the large variety of ways that people got involved in the cause.

The event, which takes place every 4 February, has progressively become a not-to-be-missed occasion to put cancer on the global agenda as a life-threatening disease for future generations. This awareness day has been gaining influence through raising the profile of cancer and increasing knowledge of the disease in peoples' minds and in the world's media.

The event, which takes place every 4 February, has progressively become a not-to-be-missed occasion to put cancer on the global agenda as a life-threatening disease for future generations.

 This awareness day has been gaining influence through raising the profile of cancer and increasing knowledge of the disease in people’s minds and in the world’s media.

The 2013 campaign was a major step-up from previous years as there was a great response from members and the public all over the globe. Together, they all joined forces to dispel some of the most damaging myths and misconceptions surrounding cancer.

All your efforts have helped to make World Cancer Day a globally and uniquely recognised event, during which every single person, organisation, governmental institution, country or region can spread the word on how crucial the mission of eliminating cancer is.

You, our member organisations, have all contributed to shape cancer control on a global scale and help UICC gain more influence as the leading cancer fighting membership organisation worldwide. UICC is now uniquely positioned to take expert opinion and views of the cancer community to the global stage. Furthermore, your engagement represents an essential way of making progress in reaching our ultimate aim, which is to help cut premature deaths from cancer and other NCDs by 25% by 2025, based on Governments’ commitments made at the World Health Assembly in May 2012. 

World Cancer Day 2013 was particularly important as it fell 18 months after the first UN High-level Meeting on NCDs, and the signing of the Political Declaration supporting prevention and control of these devastating diseases, including cancer. The support received this year is of great importance to give an advocacy push, as one of the WHO consultations on the development of a Global Action Plan for NCDs 2013-2020 is due to be adopted at the 66th World Health Assembly in May 2013.

The success of the campaign has been measured thanks to the:

  • High number of hits on worldcancerday.org (2,238,268 hits from 82,614 unique visitors who accessed the website)
  • High number of toolkits and additional materials downloaded
  • Use of social media, particularly Twitter with the #WorldCancerDay and the Facebook application focusing on spreading the word on cancer myths and misconceptions (81,570 tweets using the World Cancer Day hashtag)
  • Impressive press and media coverage.

Thank you for your support! We look forward to keep working with you this year and in future World Cancer Day campaigns. UICC will continue supporting your efforts to raise awareness about cancer and provide you with all the necessary material.