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World Cancer Day 2021: Know history, Importance

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 04, Feb 2021, 13:04 pm IST | UPDATED: 04, Feb 2021, 13:04 pm IST

World Cancer Day 2021: Know history, Importance

World Cancer Day: This year the world has been grappling with a health pandemic, and hence it becomes all the more important to raise awareness about other deadly diseases including cancer. Globally, every year February 4 is observed as World Cancer Day when people try to create awareness around the disease and work towards reducing the stigma attached to it. Cancer has emerged as the second leading cause of death globally. Recent studies estimate about one out of six people worldwide died from cancer – that's more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, as per Cancer.org. 

What is the 2021 theme?

In 2019, the theme ‘I Am and I Will’ was introduced and was to be carried on till 2021. This year's World Cancer Day's follows the same and is basically aimed at you and your commitment to act. It is believed that through positive actions, together we can reach the target of reducing the number of premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030.

What’s the history of World Cancer Day?

The day was first observed during the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium meet held in Paris, on February 4, 2000. This day celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the ‘Charter of Paris Against Cancer’ by the General Director of UNESCO, Kōichirō Matsuura, and the French President Jacques Chirac.

World Cancer Day aims to address the global impact of the disease and offering support to cancer patients and survivors through catalyzing personal, collective, and government action. On this day, various forums and organizations try to deal with the misinformation and stigma around cancer.

The most common types of cancer are breast, oral, cervical, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancer, and it is important to provide people with the correct information and healthcare in time. As a day observed by the United Nations, World Cancer Day seeks to unite the international community in support of those affected by cancer and also calls to all global citizens to take action against this disease.

What can you do to extend support?

Post a personal message on social media.

Light up a significant landmark in your area with the World Cancer Day colors.


Fundraise for cancer research.


Translate materials so information is accessible to as many people as possible.


Spread the word with an op-ed, blog post, or recorded video message.


Give something and make a donation.


Attend, participate or volunteer at a World Cancer Day event—or host your own event.

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