World Cancer Day 2023: Acting now to create a future without cancer

Image - World Cancer Day

All of us, at least one time in our lives, have been or will be affected by cancer. This destructive disease does not discriminate and statistics show that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with one in two people developing some form of it within our lifetime. February 4 is World Cancer Day, dedicated to raising awareness and much-needed funding to fight this devastating disease.

Accounting for nearly one in six deaths, World Cancer day – held on February 4 – is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The World Cancer Day website says: “By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all – no matter who you are or where you live.”

World Cancer Day 2023: Acting now to create a future without cancer
Image – World Cancer Day

What exactly is cancer and what are the most common types?

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. A defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow and can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs – this process is referred to as metastasis. Widespread metastases are the primary cause of death from cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, according to The World Health Organization (WHO). The most common in 2020 (in terms of new cases of cancer) were:

  • Breast
  • Lung
  • Colon and rectum
  • Prostate
  • Skin
  • Stomach
world cancer day 2023
Image – World Cancer Day

What is World Cancer Day and how do people get involved?

World Cancer Day, which was created in 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, is a positive movement for everyone everywhere to unite under one voice to face one of the greatest challenges in human history. Each year, hundreds of activities and fundraising events take place across the world in schools, hospitals, businesses, communities, and places of worship, acting as a powerful reminder of the global impact of cancer and how we can reduce it.

What is the World Cancer Day theme this year?

The theme this year, and since 2022, is ‘Close the Care Gap’, celebrating the progress we have made in fighting cancer and enabling more people to seek and receive the care they need and deserve. World Cancer Day provides the momentum to fuel the fight against the disease and injustices in receiving care.

The first year of the ‘Close the Care Gap’ theme focused on understanding and recognising that there is a lack of fairness and justice in cancer care across the world. Inequality in cancer care is costing lives, with income, education, location and discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and lifestyle just a few of the factors that can negatively affect the care some people receive.

World Cancer Day 2023: Acting now to create a future without cancer
Image – World Cancer Day

Many people seeking care hit barriers at every turn, but this can be changed for the better – and for everyone. This campaign aims to question the status quo, listen to those living with cancer, and allow lived experiences of the disease to guide thoughts, opinions and actions. This is a vision fuelled by fairness, where everybody has access to the care they need, no matter how old they are, where they live or grew up, their gender or sexual orientation.

Uniting voices and taking action

As the campaign continues, real-world progress in its many forms is being celebrated and used as momentum to drive equality in care. In this last year of the campaign, voices will be brought to world leaders to shake the foundations of injustice.

Create a future without cancer.

The time to act is now.


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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at