Why World Cancer Day matters

Cancer is one of the world's leading killers

Red head woman smiling with colourful background

Put simply, cancer is one of the world’s leading killers. This year alone, nearly 9.6 million people will die of cancer, and left unchecked, the number of deaths will increase to 13.2 million per year by 2030.  

Many of these deaths can be avoided with increased governmental support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programmes. Unless urgent action is taken to raise awareness about cancer and develop practical strategies to address the disease, millions of people will continue to die.

Sadly, the greatest increase in cancer is projected to hit low- and middle-income countries, those least equipped to cope with the social and economic impact of the disease.

There is an urgent need for action to raise awareness of the disease and to develop practical strategies to reduce the burden of cancer. World Cancer Day is the perfect opportunity to spread the word and create a global awareness of the disease in international media and global health and development programmes.


"World Cancer Day reminds Run For a Cure Africa (RFCA) of the global emergency that is cancer and how each of us play our part in controlling the disease. Witnessing how RFCA is a part of a larger community of advocates, gives our work so much meaning and spurs us into action."
Ebele Mbanugo, Ed.D Founder/Executive Director
World Cancer Day Advisory group members meet at the World Cancer Congress 2022

World Cancer Day is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. It takes place every year on 4 February.

World Cancer Day 2024 Social Media post with "Close the Care Gap" as the theme

Closing the gap in cancer care


Last update

Friday 17 November 2023

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