World Cancer Day

How can you get involved in World Cancer Day? Find out how.


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In the next 40 years, the number of cancer deaths is expected to double worldwide, with the biggest increase predicted in developing nations.

World Cancer Day (WCD) is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of cancer. This guide looks at what the day’s all about and how to get behind this very worthwhile cause.

What is World Cancer Day?

World Cancer Day is on 4 February each year and is designed to help raise awareness of cancer and to encourage a greater focus on its prevention, detection and treatment. An initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control, a global consortium of over 470 organisations in 120 countries, WCD uses global communications to target the public and to encourage policy makers to give cancer a higher political priority.

By raising awareness and increasing education about cancer, millions of deaths can hopefully be prevented each year. WCD is a great opportunity for everyone affected by cancer to work together to help reduce the impact this terrible disease has on so many lives. Activities include fundraising events, meetings, rallies, advocacy activities and social media campaigns and everyone is encouraged to get involved to make World Cancer Day a success.

What’s happening in 2017?

The theme for World Cancer Day on 4 February 2017 is “We can. I can.”, which explores the idea that everyone, both individually and as a group, can play their part. Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, so we all have the power to use a range of different actions to reduce the impact cancer has on individuals, families and communities. Whatever you choose to do, “We can. I can.” make a difference, whether it’s running your own WCD campaign or simply sharing WCD messages amongst your networks.

World Cancer Day is also the perfect opportunity for businesses to engage in the fight against cancer. The WCD resources include a specially tailored Corporate Toolkit, which shows businesses how they can help to support the day. Whether it’s making a financial donation or empowering your employees to provide help in some way, every business can contribute and be seen to be doing so.

And whatever you plan to do on 4 February 2017, WCD encourages you to let everyone know about it online via the WCD Map of Impact. This interactive map will feature as many events as possible, whether online or offline, taking place around the globe on World Cancer Day.

How can you get involved?

  • Organise a fundraising event to be held on WCD, with all proceeds going to a cancer-related charity.
  • Make a personal commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle (ie give up smoking on the day).
  • If you’ve survived cancer, share your story to create awareness and inspire others who might be suffering similarly.
  • Join the “Talking Hands” activity, which provides ideas for spreading the WCD message via a variety of mediums.
  • Change your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile pictures on the day to those provided by WCD.
  • Join the WCD Thunderclap campaign, a tool that disseminates mass email messages via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
  • Align your plans with an existing WCD event to create a larger impact and contribute to the overall success of the day.

Is there any other way to show support?

  • Promote healthier lifestyle choices amongst your friends and colleagues.
  • Lobby your local member of parliament to become involved with WCD.
  • Promote and motivate your online community to get behind WCD.
  • Follow WCD online via the official Facebook and Instagram accounts.
  • If you are bi or multilingual, help WCD translate resources into other languages to make them as accessible as possible.

Back to Health Event Hub | Next February event: Feeding Tube Awareness Week

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