World Cancer Day 2023: February 4

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World Cancer Day 2023 is now only 1 month away! Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and organized annually on February 4, World Cancer Day is a global initiative to improve awareness and knowledge of cancer risks and better prevent, detect, and treat the disease. World Cancer Day also engages individuals, organizations, and governments to reduce the numerous disparities that exist in health care, as well as the many barriers that people encounter in accessing health services and receiving the care they need.

World Cancer Day has become one of the most celebrated health awareness days around the world. Last year’s campaign saw over 900 activities and events take place in 105 countries, and 319 iconic landmarks were illuminated in 213 cities to mark the day, including Westminster Palace in London, Petra in Jordan, and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. The hashtag #WorldCancerDay trended on Twitter globally throughout the day, and over 375,000 social media posts were shared, including from U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, the British Royal Family, and First Lady of Nigeria Aisha Muhammadu Buhari. More than 110,000 campaign materials were downloaded from the website, with 50,000 custom posters generated by visitors.

2023 Themes

World Cancer Day 2023 marks the second year of the 3-year Close the Care Gap campaign centered on the issue of equity. This second year is about uniting individuals, organizations, advocates, and policymakers in calling for change and taking action. It is also about celebrating real-world progress—not just in innovation and medical advances but small actions that can have a significant impact: motivating neighbors to provide transport to cancer treatment for a fellow resident or ensuring that healthy and affordable food options are offered at the local school.

UICC will be looking more specifically at how unhealthy products such as tobacco, alcohol, and ultraprocessed foods drive a significant proportion of preventable cancer deaths. UICC aims to highlight how certain companies selling these products often exploit already marginalized or vulnerable groups (youth, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic minorities), amplifying the stark equity challenges faced in most countries.

What to Expect on World Cancer Day 2023

  • Hundreds of activities taking place around the world, including UICC’s 5k Challenge encouraging people to close a loop of 5 km by running, cycling, swimming, hiking, walking, or other means, symbolizing closing the care gap.
  • 21-day challenges for people to create new positive healthy habits, help eliminate cervical cancer, or educate themselves and speak out about inequities in accessing cancer services.
  • A look at the socioeconomic factors, such as cultural contexts, gender norms, income and education levels, as well as the prejudices, discrimination, and assumptions based on age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, and lifestyle, which create wide disparities in cancer prevention, incidence, and survival.
  • A call for renewed action to improve cancer awareness, practice cancer prevention, support innovations in diagnostics and treatment, and address inequities and weaknesses in health systems exposed by COVID-19.
  • Opportunities for interviews with UICC Board Members in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, India, and Africa, as well as UICC member organizations around the globe.

Available for Download

  • A range of branded materials, including toolkits, posters, how-to guides, infographics, and fact sheets, which individuals and organizations can personalize and use to raise awareness and promote their own activities in connection with World Cancer Day.
  • Social media tools, including Instagram filters.
The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.