In a couple of days, the international cancer
community and its associates will share the stage to honor the importance of
World Cancer Day. The 4th of February will be marked as the final
year of the “I
Am and I Will” campaign – this year with even greater significance relied
upon the efforts to control cancer amidst a pandemic.
The pandemic has impacted the plans initiated
by several UICC members and health organizations from around the globe. As a
result, all activities designed for World Cancer Day have been modified – we
now have zoom talks instead of face-to-face discussions and webinars instead of
conferences. Furthermore, all kinds of events, like fundraisers and celebratory
talks, have been virtualized.
Ever since its foundation in 1933, the goal
of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is to urge global leaders
to take action and become the controlling pads of cancer – by investing in
treatment centers, researches, patient groups, screening and prevention
programs, diagnostic rounds, etc. It makes us optimistic and better prepared to
As a matter of fact, this has been the
highlighted priority for the organization as the world collectively fights the
pandemic. The -19 pandemic has magnified
the challenges faced by cancer professionals, patients, and global societies.
Last year, a QA-based survey was conducted by
the UICC and it was passed around in 172 countries by the 1200 members. The
idea was to get a better understanding of the pandemic and find a holistic grip
on the way activities and operations are carried on. Out of the 108
organizations that replied from 55 countries, 77% of the results conferred that
there have been reductions in their income whereas 80% claimed that there have
been reductions in the activities and services.
But despite it all, it’s incredible to
witness the cancer community fight back with resilience.
It has now come to understanding that a large
number of the organization members continued their advocacy within their
personal capacity and provided essential cancer services like the HPV
vaccination along with the screening and diagnostic treatment for cancer
In addition, the conduction and publication
of scientific researches during the pandemic is crucial. It’s normal to see the
eagerness of the public to be more prone towards acquiring scientific
information regarding Covid-19 prognosis, diagnosis, and its treatment. Some
even try to grasp information on the impact of the Coronavirus on cancer care.
It’s important to give a special round of
applause to the researchers, scientists, and other health professionals who’ve
stood out as inspirational to many. We’ve witnessed their tremendous efforts
and medical breakthroughs at the cost of their own health sometimes.
The definite breakthrough moment was in the
lab, when SARS-CoV-2— that was undertaken via international collaboration—
resulted in the availability of a vaccine now progressively rolled out to the
Science and innovation must go hand-in-hand
if we truly aim to make progress in cancer control. This mindset has enabled us
to gain information needed to fight and reduce the burden put on the cancer
In the last few years, we’ve managed to
witness grave advances in the diagnostics, treatments, and serving facilities
of cancer patients.
Additional efforts have been granted to liquid biopsies,
robotic surgeries, advanced radiotherapy, immunotherapy and other therapies and
treatments that help the patients in the earlier stages to fight and come out
Basically, innovation in health and
development can yield more productive and fulfilling results. There has been an
effort at large and a mission envisioned to make cancer services accessible and
affordable to each and every one who needs them. Hence, there’s added stress on
the matter of equity when visualizing the goals.
Innovation, at large, refers to the Research
& Development of new medicines and healthy-related technologies. However,
it also refers to the organization and creative propositions in delivering
healthcare responsibilities. The bracket includes the management of
information, response to the needs of users, and development of business models
to ensure sustainability and productivity.
UICC believes that cancer communities around
the globe must partner up with their respective governments and invest in
controlling the illness and finding innovative approaches to fight it. Hence,
they must inform themselves and improve prevention and detection techniques
alongside the treatment of cancer.
With that in mind, the World Cancer Leaders’
Summit (WCLS) has also scheduled a conference in Boston, USA, in October 2021.
The theme of the event will be “Driving innovation to advance cancer control
equitably”,which aims to explore different models of cancer controls like the
value-based care model. The event will highlight the needs that must be
acknowledged while implementing the health policies and innovative practices in
the health-care system.
In the event, the WCLS
will also shed light on the experiences of the participants in the response of
cancer communities during the pandemic. However, more focus will be put on the
innovative approaches that can be implemented to optimize and facilitate the
care of cancer patients.
World Cancer Day has been conceptualized by
as an attempt to raise awareness of cancer and promote its prevention
measurements, early detection methodologies, and effective treatments.
This year, on the 4th of February,
there will be a slight modification as the virtual issue will be focused on
Covid-19 and cancer and the research studies on patient care. There will be
biological insights on patients who contracted the Coronavirus while battling
cancer. This will amplify the significance of cancer control policy during a
This year, the theme of the World Cancer Day
is “I am and I will”, stressing on the role each and every individual can play
in reducing the impact of cancer. On this day, the organization attempts to
recognize the challenges that are currently being faced by the global health
community in light of the pandemic.
Moreover, the day is dedicated to the courage
and achievements of front-liners and the people living with cancer. The event
will highlight the importance of volunteers, advocates, and anyone who takes
this initiative to improve the working conditions and treatment facilities of
UICC will also highlight the stories of
real-life heroes who’ve won their health battles and shown remarkable progress
by adopting these innovative responses. The idea is to engage people in a
conversation about collective efforts, sustainability, and equity.
revealed the enormous ability of the cancer community to adapt and unify under
a crisis. This World Cancer Day more than ever underscores the need for all of
us to come together as we push forward progress in 2021.”– Dr Cary
Adams, UICC CEO
Here’s what the UICC members have lined up
for the international cancer community for World Cancer Day 2021:
of Cancer Control Plans
In the last few decades, every country has
tried to level up and launched their respective national cancer plans. Last
year, three governments – Malawi, Poland, and Rwanda – were the last to join the
bandwagon as they launched their new national cancer control plan.
National Institute of Cancer will launch a 10-year strategy to fight
cancer. This event will be held virtually and anyone can attend it.
Talks, Conferences, and Exchanges
There have been countless summits in the
previous years, shedding light on the importance of cancer prevention and tobacco
control. This year, it seems inevitable that the link between cancer and
covid-19 will be highlighted and most debated on. The World Cancer Day is a hub
where there is exchange of information, debates, and enlightening
This year, Cancer X will be hosting a week –
sharing and exchanging ideas in Japan. Meanwhile, there will be joint
conferences by the American University, Beirut Medical Centre, and the King of
Hussein Cancer Center. Together, they’ll allow experts from around the world to
share the stage and discuss cancer control in light of the pandemic.
Engagement and Mobilizing Supporters
This day is an opportunity for cancer organization
from around the globe to engage and raise awareness about cancer and to
motivate people to take action. Several
musical groups will be performing to raise funds and promote the lesson of
love, strength, and hope.
Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) will also be seen hosting a
virtual session on “Eliminating Cervical Cancer” – Speaker, Dr. GhinaGhaziri
(Obstetrician and Gynecologist) working with the American University of Beirut
Medical Center will be conducting an interactive session dedicated to cancer
survivors, patients, staff, and their families.
Wellness and Physical Activities
There will be a number of group activities
like walks, runs, dances, and dragon boating to boost awareness. A lot of these
will be live streamed and conducted virtually.
Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has announced a full day of online
yoga and meditation sessions in an attempt to raise funds that will be used in
conducting medical research and making progress in the treatment.
Thus, a lot will be happening on the 4th
of Feb, 2021, and if you care about the cause, do ensure that you make time and
effort to not just attend these events online but also make donations.
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Thus, the 10 ways to make notable contribution to UICC
community on the World Cancer Day 2021 is via creating engagement – participate
in virtual activities designed for raising awareness!