World Cancer Day is observed on February 4 every year. The day aims to promote awareness about cancer. It also helps to strengthen actions that strive to improve cancer care, detection, preventive measures and treatment. Cancer is a large group of diseases that can affect any organ or tissue of the body. It refers to the abnormal growth of cells that divide uncontrollably. Cancer has the ability to spread from one body part/ organ/ tissue to another.
World Cancer Day 2024: Theme
The theme for World Cancer Day 2024 is ‘Close the care gap: Everyone deserves access to cancer care.’ It is a part of a 3-year long campaign from 2022 to 2024.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) focuses on a single agenda under this campaign. According to UICC, the agenda for 2024 is ‘Together, we challenge those in power.’
Each year, multiple activities and events take place around the world on this day. Both online and offline activities act as a powerful reminder that every individual plays a role in reducing the cancer burden and creating awareness.
World Cancer Day was first observed on February 4, 2000, at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium In Paris.
More about cancer
According to the World Health Organization cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. The cancer burden continues to grow globally. However, survival rates are improving with the help of advanced diagnosis and treatment.
Regular screenings and early detection are two main key factors that help improve survival rates.
“Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women,” mentions the WHO website.
Tobacco use alone accounts for around one-third of deaths from cancers. Other risk factors include high body mass index, alcohol consumption, family history, some health conditions, environment, infections by certain viruses and more.
Common treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, targeted drug therapy and more.