World Cancer Day: History, Theme, and key facts



Every year on February 4th, we celebrate a day. It’s World Cancer Day, a time to learn about the brave cells fighting cancer. This day is commemorated to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and research and innovation related to cancer. It’s also a day to show love and support to anyone who is facing this challenge. Remember, even small actions can make a big difference. You can learn more about cancer, and spread awareness. Together, we can make World Cancer Day a day of hope, strength, and victory!


World Cancer Day, held annually on February 4th. It is a global initiative led by UICC. It provides a vital platform for connecting people and organizations in the battle against cancer. And also spreading awareness of the disease, and promoting increased access to high-quality cancer care for all. Here’s a look into the interesting past:

Early Beginnings (1933-1980s):

The International Union Against Cancer ( UICC) was established during the first International Cancer Congress in Madrid, Spain, in 1933, establishing the seeds for World Cancer Day. Increasing public knowledge and understanding of cancer became the main objective. However, the idea of a designated day for cancer awareness did not take off until the 1980s.

Official Recognition and Growth (1990s-Present):

In 1991, The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UICC joined forces to declared officially February 4th as World Cancer Day. Firstly, World Cancer Day was born in 2000 to mark the start of united global efforts against cancer. Each year, World Cancer Day features a specific theme focusing on critical areas like prevention, early detection, treatment, and access to care. Governments, medical experts, civil society organizations, and people all across the world have recognized and participated in the effort over the years.

Key Milestones:

  • The 2012-2014 campaign, “New Challenge: Conquer Cancer,” emphasized the need for increased investment in cancer research and development.
  • The 2016-2018 campaign, “We Can. I Can.,” championed individual and collective action to reduce cancer risk and promote early detection.
  • The current theme, running from 2022 to 2024, is “Close the Care Gap,” highlighting the disparities in cancer care and advocating for equitable access for all.
Also Read : World Cancer Day Significance

World Cancer Day Theme 2024:

The Theme of World Cancer Day is “Close the Care Gap,” The gaps in cancer care that occur globally are the main emphasis of this theme. These differences can result from factors including wealth, location, gender, and race. The campaign’s objectives are to increase public awareness of these inequalities and to push governments and citizens to act to close the care gap.

Learn more about the Prevention of Cancer.

Key Facts:

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 9.6 million people died from cancer in 2018, and that number is expected to rise to 13.2 million by 2030.
  • More than 40% of cancer deaths could be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, healthy eating, and physical activity.
  • Early detection and treatment are essential for improving cancer survival rates.
  • However, many people in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to screening or treatment services.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths each year.
  • The most common types of cancer are lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.
  • Cancer can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in older adults.
  • There are many different treatment options available for cancer, depending on the type and stage of the disease.
  • With early detection and treatment, many cancers can be cured.


World Cancer Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about cancer and to call for action to close the care gap. By working together, we have an opportunity to improve millions of people’s lives all around the world. I hope this brief overview provides a helpful starting point for understanding the history and significance of World Cancer Day. If you’d like to learn more about specific aspects or campaigns, feel free to ask!


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