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World Cancer Day: What Happens on Feb 4

With every worthy cause, a day is usually set aside to remind the world to focus on its importance. World Cancer Day is no exception. Every year on February 4, this global event seeks to bring people all over the world in the fight against cancer.

The movement seeks to prevent millions of deaths yearly by educating the public and raising awareness about the disease, and getting world governments and individuals to act. It was started by the Union for International Cancer Control, with the ultimate goal of reducing death and illness from cancer by 2020.


On February 4, many campaigns and events are held to show support for people who are affected by the disease. So far, there are 427 activities planned to commemorate the day, according to

An example of these activities is the #nohairselfie trend of people shaving their heads in real life or in virtual space (through an app on, in solidarity with those going through chemotherapy, with the photos being posted online.

Other than that, there are specific campaigns dealing with specific types of cancer. The most famous of all cancer campaigns is, of course, the pink ribbon drive. As more and more women are affected by breast cancer, the pink ribbon has become the global symbol of the fight to raise awareness, early detection of this type of cancer.

A pink ribbon pin is worn by those wanting to show moral support to women with this disease, especially in the month of October – the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, breast cancer charities would organise events to educate members of the public and also hold fundraising activities for research on the cause of and ways to battle the disease, among other aspects.

Taking part

If you want to take part in World Cancer Day, the movement has a few suggestions.

You can create and run your own event aligned to its targets and objectives if you have the time and resources. Others can join in the conversations and participate in campaigns on social media. This year, World Cancer Day has a Talking Hands campaign, where people write supportive messages on their hands, take pictures and share them online with the hashtags #worldcancerday and #wecanIcan. These images will be displayed on the

Another way is by sharing the movement’s messages and materials among your network of family, friends and colleagues, boosting its reach. On the website is a catalogue of campaign materials which include posters, fact sheets and tool kits for easy dissemination in promoting the cause.

The movement has even prepared press kits to be sent to local media in your country to spread the message on an even larger scale. Or you can help to translate the content of the campaign into the local language of your country in order for the messages to be as accessible to people in every corner of the globe.

The movement will not work without the support of governments and the world’s population. Any effort, big or small, to disseminate information will go towards saving preventable deaths around the world so be sure to do your part!