World Cancer Day was created in Paris on 4 February 2000 at the New Millennium World Cancer Summit against Cancer. More than 900 events take place in over 100 different
countries each year. It aim to mobilize the international community and bring an end to the injustice of preventable cancer misery.
For example, the theme of the last World Cancer Day in 2019-2020 – “I can, we can” acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden. We can work together to reduce cancer risk factors. We can overcome barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. We can work together to improve cancer control and achieve global targets to reduce premature mortality from cancer.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease. When a group of normal cells in the body changes, it leads to uncontrolled abnormal growth, resulting in a mass called a tumor; this is true for all cancers except leukemia (blood cancer). If left untreated, tumors can grow and spread to surrounding normal tissues, or spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic system, and may affect digestion, nerves, and circulatory systems, or release hormones that may affect body functions.
Cancer Key Facts
- Cancer causes 9.6 million deaths every year.
- At least one-third of common cancers are preventable.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world.
- 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Up to 3.7 million lives can be saved each year with appropriate resource and early detection, prevention and treatment strategies.
- It is estimated that the total economic cost of cancer is $1.16 trillion US / per year.