World Cancer Day 2021: History and significance of day aimed at ending stigma related to disease

World Cancer Day is observed globally to spread awareness about cancer and the stigma associated with the disease. Many events are organised every year, people are urged to take actions and funds are raised to help those suffering from cancer.

World Cancer Day 2021: Date and History

World Cancer Day is observed on 4 February. The Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) has taken the observance of World Cancer Day as a ‘global uniting initiative’. This means people all around the world are called upon to unite and fight against the disease by detection, early diagnosis, treatment and extending moral support.

World Cancer Day is being celebrated since 2000, when it was first established at the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris. It was on 4 February, 2000 that the ‘Charter of Paris Against Cancer’ was signed by the General Director of UNESCO and then French President.

World Cancer Day 2021: Theme

This year’s theme is ‘I Am and I Will’, which is being continued since 2019. This is the last year to observe this theme. One of the mottos of the theme is ‘together, all our actions matter’.

World Cancer Day 2021: Significance

With the pandemic affecting the world, cancer-affected people have had a harder time dealing with their ailment. The UICC highlighted this issue and expressed gratitude towards the medical workers like nurses, doctors, as well as researchers, volunteers, advocates and other caregivers in oncology from around the world. They also voiced praise for the government agencies which worked this past year through the COVID-19 pandemic unrelentingly.

Professor Anil D’Cruz, the President of UICC and Director at Oncology Apollo Hospitals in India, said, “It appears quite certain that disruptions to cancer services in the past year will lead to diagnosis at later stages which in turn will translate into higher cancer-related mortality.” but he ensured that the cancer community across the world was working hard to mitigate the problem.



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