World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is a yearly observance held on February 4th to raise cancer awareness and support cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) organises World Cancer Day to support the 2008 World Cancer Declaration’s goals. The major purpose of World Cancer Day is to drastically reduce cancer related illness and mortality, as well as to unite the global community to eliminate the injustice of cancer-related suffering. The United Nations commemorates the day. World Cancer Day aims to dispel myths, boost awareness, and reduce stigma surrounding cancer. On World Cancer Day, a number of actions are held to express support for cancer patients.

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About World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is coordinated by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), an organisation dedicated to raising global cancer awareness, with cooperation from WHO and other international organisations. The UICC’s World Cancer Campaign, which runs throughout the year and aims to raise cancer awareness by establishing alliances with health and cancer institutions, proposing educational activities, and generating public service announcements, uses World Cancer Day as a formal launch pad for the announcement of new themes as well as the release of new publications.

Numerous healthcare organisations and cancer centres make educational publications and resources regarding cancer and cancer prevention available on their websites in honour of World Cancer Day. World Cancer Day is commemorated in some regions with a parade or a regional fundraising event, as in a walk, a banquet, a concert, or even an auction. In addition, throughout the week of World Cancer Day, some countries broadcast special television or radio programmes concerning cancer.

History of World Cancer Day

On February 4th, 2000, at the World Cancer Summit on Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, World Cancer Day was founded. On 4th February 2000, the then General Director of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), Kichir Matsuura, and then French President Jacques Chirac signed the Charter of Paris Against Cancer in Paris, which was meant to promote research, prevent cancer, and improve patient services. It also included an article instituting the anniversary of the article’s official signing as World Cancer Day.

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

Significance

World Cancer Day as well as the World Cancer Campaign have turned out to be major tools for raising attention to cancer treatment and prevention in economically developing nations, where more than 70% of cancer fatalities occur. For example, World Cancer Day 2007 marked the start of an international effort to strengthen cancer-care resources in Nicaragua, where availability of cancer treatment facilities was severely limited.

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