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World Cancer Day

Quick Facts

World Cancer Day is an annual global event on February 4 to raise people’s awareness of cancer.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Cancer DayEnglish
Día Mundial contra el CáncerSpanish
עולם יום הסרטןHebrew
اليوم العالمي للسرطانArabic
세계 암의 날Korean
WeltkrebstagGerman

World Cancer Day 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
List of dates for other years

World Cancer Day is a global observance that helps raise people’s awareness of cancer and how to prevent, detect or treat it. This event is held on February 4 each year.

There are different symbols that help promote awareness of different types of cancers. For example, the pink ribbon symbolizes breast cancer awareness.

©iStockphoto.com/ rocksunderwater

What do people do?

People, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations work together on World Cancer Day to help the general public learn more about the different types of cancer, how to watch for it, treatments and preventative measures. Various activities and events include:

Some countries use World Cancer Day to promote campaigns on various cancer issues, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and cancer in children. Much focus goes towards awareness and risk reduction.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the United Nations’ (UN) directing and coordinating health authority, works with organizations such as the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) on this day to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Recurring themes over the years focus on preventing cancer and raising the quality of life for cancer patients.

Public life

World Cancer Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, according to WHO, which estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Low-income and medium-income countries are harder hit by cancer than the high-resource countries. It is essential to address the world's growing cancer burden and to work on effective control measures.

World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, which responds to the Charter of Paris adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium on February 4, 2000. It called for a strong alliance between researchers, health-care professionals, patients, governments, industry partners and the media to fight cancer.

The Charter of Paris designated February 4 each year as World Cancer Day. UICC is responsible for coordinating World Cancer Day globally. It receives support from various partners and organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international bodies. UICC organized the first World Cancer Day in 2006. 

Symbols

There are different symbols that are used to help promote the fight against different types of cancers. For example, the pink ribbon is a global symbol of breast cancer awareness, while the orange ribbon is associated with child cancer awareness. Another example is the daffodil, which the American Cancer Society sees as a symbol of hope that people share for a future where cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.  

World Cancer Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatFeb 42006World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
SunFeb 42007World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
MonFeb 42008World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
WedFeb 42009World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuFeb 42010World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
FriFeb 42011World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
SatFeb 42012World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
MonFeb 42013World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
TueFeb 42014World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
WedFeb 42015World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuFeb 42016World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
SatFeb 42017World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
SunFeb 42018World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
MonFeb 42019World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
TueFeb 42020World Cancer DayUnited Nations observance 
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