I am and I will—5 ways to take action on World Cancer Day

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I am and I will—5 ways to take action on World Cancer Day

5 min read

No matter your age, income, race or location, cancer affects all of us. In fact, more than 1.8 million new cancer cases were estimated to be diagnosed in 2020. Whether you’re a cancer survivor, caregiver, friend or loved one, you can help join the fight toward a world without cancer.

February 4 is World Cancer Day—a global initiative that strives to save millions of preventable cancer deaths each year and imagines a world in which access to lifesaving cancer treatment and care is equal for all. Organizations across the world are working together to raise awareness and support, improve education and take action toward cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.

Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is a positive and impactful movement, with hundreds of events taking place around the world. It serves as a powerful reminder that we all have a role to play in reducing the global impact of cancer. See how you can help.

Why it’s important to take action

As of January 2019, there were an estimated 16.9 million cancer survivors in the United States. However, cancer is still the second leading cause of death worldwide. There are certain risk factors that may increase a person's chances of developing cancer. Black Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival rate of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.

Access to routine cancer screenings and early detection are important areas of focus, since the earlier cancer is found the easier it may be to treat. UICC estimates that up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.

“I Am and I Will”
The theme of World Cancer Day, "I Am and I Will," is all about you and your commitment to act. Whether you’re participating as an individual or in support of a loved one, your commitment – big or small – can help reduce the global burden of cancer. Through positive actions, UICC is striving to reduce the number of premature deaths from cancer by one-third by 2030.

How you can take action on World Cancer Day

  1. Prioritize prevention and early detection
    • Did you know that more than 4 in 10 cancer cases and deaths in the U.S. are preventable? Commit to reduce your cancer risk by quitting smoking, eating better, getting more exercise and staying safe in the sun. Find more information and tips on nutrition and wellness here
    • Encourage your friends and family to speak with their doctors and keep their cancer screenings and follow-up visits, where it’s safe to do so. Find resources and tools to help guide those conversations and prepare for appointments, either in-person or via telehealth, at getcancerscreened.com
  2. Use your voice
    • Write a personal story, blog post or post on social media, using the hashtags
      #WorldCancerDay and #IAmandIWill
    • Write or email your local government representative or other policy makers within your school, workplace or city. Encourage them to take action, increase education and make sure everyone has equal access to resources. Use this message template to get started
  3. Make a donation
    • Consider making a donation toward the World Cancer Day mission or a local organization that has made an impact on your life or the lives of your loved ones. There are a variety of charitable organizations dedicated to fighting cancer or finding a cure—find one that’s meaningful to you
  4. Find or share inspiration
  5. Get involved

For more information about World Cancer Day and other ways to participate, visit worldcancerday.org/take-action.