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World Cancer Day

  • 04 Feb 2019
  • 3 min read

World Cancer Day is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and celebrated each year on 4 February.

  • The theme for 2019-2021 is "I am and I will" - all about individual stories and commitments to beat cancer.
  • The objective of World Cancer Day is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-3.4), i.e. to reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being by 2030.
  • It is observed to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer.
  • The Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year through education, raising awareness and by pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.


  • Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases characterized by the growth of abnormal cells beyond their usual boundaries that can then invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs.
  • Other common terms used for cancer are malignant tumours and neoplasms.
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is estimated to account for 9.6 million death in 2018.

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

  • The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is a membership organisation to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer.
  • It was founded in 1933 and is based in Geneva.

Non-Communicable Diseases Burden in India

  • According to recently released data by the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 61% of deaths in India are now attributed to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • Cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, andm hypertension) contribute to 45% of all NCD deaths, followed by chronic respiratory disease (22 %), cancer (12 %) and diabetes (3%).
  • NCDs are also a major cause and consequence of poverty.
  • Although, the percentage of deaths from NCDs is still lower in India compared to many other countries across the world but the burden is rapidly increasing because of changing lifestyle and factors like pollution.
  • Four risk factors responsible are tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.
  • Major metabolic risk factors are obesity, and raised blood pressure, blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels.
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