Did you know that more than 8 million people across the world die from cancer each year? That’s close to the number of people who live in New York City! In the United States, nearly 600,000 people died from cancer in 2016 (National Cancer Institute, 2016).

“We can. I can.” This is the call to action for World Cancer Day, which takes place every year on February 4th. The goal of World Cancer Day is to lower the number of cancer deaths worldwide by raising awareness and asking governments to take additional action. This year’s theme focuses on the importance of cancer support and prevention through physical activity and sport.

Want to take action but not sure how? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Show your support on social media. Find more information here. At the GW Cancer Center, we’re getting active to combat cancer. Join us by writing the World Cancer Day hashtag (#WeCanICan) on a piece of sports equipment, your hand, the ground, a sign…whatever you can find. Then take a photo of yourself with the hashtag and share on social media February 4th using #WeCanICan and #WorldCancerDay.
  • Are you participating in a World Cancer Day event? Add it to the Map of Impact to show the world the work your community is doing to reduce cancer.
  • Share information with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Download fact sheets and toolkits to share with others.
  • Take control of your health by staying active, limiting alcohol, eliminating tobacco and eating red meat in moderation.

World Cancer Day is supported by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), an organization that works to unite the cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer worldwide. World Cancer Day is a chance to think about what you can do, alone or as part of a group, to end cancer.

Share this post with others — everyone can make a difference!


National Cancer Institute (2016). Cancer Statistics. [Webpage] Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics