This year’s event, which takes place on 4 February 2022, focuses on closing the equity gap in access to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care

Cancer cells illustration

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) that aims to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer. The theme of this year’s event, which takes place on 4 February 2022, is ‘closing the gap in cancer care’.

Despite advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, millions of people around the world face barriers to accessing basic care for cancer. The UICC explains: ‘Income, education, geographical location, and discrimination based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and lifestyle are just a few of the factors that can negatively affect care.’ 

Consequently, disadvantaged groups—who are also more likely to have increased exposures to risk factors such tobacco, unhealthy diet, or environmental hazards—often experience avoidable differences in care or outcomes. More than half (65%) of cancer deaths are happening in the least developed parts of the world. 

According to the UICC, more than one-third of cancer cases could be prevented, and another third could be cured if detected early and treated properly. Therefore, equitable access to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care has the potential to save millions of lives.

The UICC states: ‘Through raising the public and political literacy and understanding around cancer, we reduce fear, increase understanding, dispel myths and misconceptions, and change behaviours and attitudes.’ The campaign aims to do this by: 

  • offering tools and guidance to encourage its member organisations to run local cancer awareness campaigns that are aligned and adapted to the global World Cancer Day message
  • working to seize digital, traditional, and social media opportunities at an above-country level to raise public awareness of the day.

Further information is available on the World Cancer Day website


Lead image: Design Cells/

Image 1: Design Cells/